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|"Hmm, I don't remember that one. It mustn't be that important." |
This article is about a subject from outside Hideo Kojima's core "Metal Gear Saga." It has some level of canonicity within the continuity, but reader discretion is advised.[?]
The MQ-320 was a large unmanned aircraft used by the United States Air Force in 2018. These drones were equipped with homing missiles and a pair of three-barrelled rotary guns resembling the M197 Vulcan cannon.
- See also: Raid at World Marshal, Ambush in Africa, Abkhazian Coup, Investigation in Guadalajara, Raid in Denver, and Operation Tecumseh
As Raiden and Doktor made their escape from World Marshal's headquarters in Denver, their helicopter was engaged by two of these sophisticated drone aircraft, deployed by the Peterson Air Force Base. Doktor employing an on-board EMP system to spoof two missiles from one of the drones. With the drones closing to use their cannons, Raiden made the decision to jump out and fight them directly, after Doktor told him that the EMPs would be insufficient to knock out the drones themselves.
Raiden used his sword to interface with one of the aircraft (just as he had done earlier with a Slider while fighting Sundowner) and guided it back around towards the other, using it as a platform to cut the other completely in half as it flew by. With the drone he was standing on severely damaged, he attempted to leap back to Doktor's helicopter, but the handrail he caught on gave way, sending him falling. Doktor was unable to catch him, due to World Marshal troops with RPGs on the ground.
Codec calls established that there was no way a PMC could get permission to operate a military-grade drone aircraft like the MQ-320 in U.S. airspace and the aircraft must have belonged to the U.S. military, more specifically the United States Air Force, and that World Marshal must have called in favors to bypass the normal chain of command and get them in the air. Kevin noted that while Raiden was technically guilty of slaughtering police officers, he wasn't a threat to national security and therefore the military had no quarrel with him, adding that the military would be unlikely to send additional aircraft as they would be too busy establishing why two drones were launched without proper authority.
Behind the scenes
This aircraft first appeared in the last few seconds of the AR trailer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, although they were not named.
The design resembles the MQ-133C that was used to sneak Raiden into Abkhazia, and the MQ-320 appears to be a fighter variant of the same design. In terms of design it is based on a number of current UAV and UCAV programs such as the Boeing X-45 and X-46 and the BAE Systems Taranis.