To realize a maximum benefit from a remotely piloted cargo platform, the MQ-A must be able to perform most, if not all, functions autonomously while maintaining the capability to retask or operate the vehicle remotely to effect mission changes when and where required.
To be effective in all required operating environments, the MQ-A must be equipped with a propulsion system that is not only VTOL-capable but also able to operate at high altitudes (above most ground threats and in mountainous terrain) and speeds (> 250 knots).
The use of a module or pod equipped with a directional infrared countermeasures system and/or other suppression/countermeasures can help to reduce the risk to the MQ-A in a variety of threat environments.
Arguably the most significant safety concerns surrounding the MQ-A would encompass its propulsion system, obstacle and aircraft collision, lost link, component failure, takeoffs, and landings.
MQ-A will augment current and forecast aircraft utilized by the DOD with
CONEMP, units employing the MQ-A in the deployed environment will be
employment of the MQ-A in all operating environments.
tactics and doctrine for the MQ-A's employment will vary with each
These MCTs will have personnel trained and certified for loading and unloading all MQ-A mission modules.
If the MQ-A will be flown by a pilot in the pilot/passenger module, the passenger safety briefing will be provided by the aircraft commander.
Forward Operating Bases/Austere Locations without MCT: Although most major forward operating bases will have personnel trained on how to load and unload cargo from the MQ-A, some air-land delivery and pickup locations will be made to austere locations with little or no formally trained cargo handling personnel.
Brief passengers on aircraft safety if the MQ-A will be piloted remotely.