The MQ-11B reconnaissance UAV has become the universal choice for private military operations around the globe since its first deployment in 2016. The MQ-11B still fields the AG22 THORN air-to-air missiles of the MQ-10 model, allowing it to actively engage and destroy enemy UAV assets while enjoying an additional 6 hours loiter time over the battlefield than its predecessor. The MQ-11 series features inertial, GPS, and terrain-matching navigational systems and may be mounted with a variety of modular sensor packages in additional to its standard side scanning radar system. Without upgrades, it is capable of recognizing over fifteen thousand models of military equipment from Excellia Battlefield Systems’ constantly updated database.
The MQ-11′s civilian variant, the MQ-11A, has also seen extensive service in coordinating disaster response efforts, ecological monitoring, forest fire observation, and in the gas and energy sector.
Excellia Battlefield Systems currently owns the exclusive manufacturing and operational license for the system and maintains two remote operations facilities serving contracts for over 50 global clients.
Excerpt from “Aviation & Space Technology Weekly” June 12, 2017:
“… Excellia Battlefield Systems has long been known for breaking new ground and recruiting the best of its best – often with unconventional methods. In 2014 Excellia made headlines with the announcement of their first-annual “Total Air Domination” competition, offering experienced gamers the chance to compete at remotely operating experimental UAV models under extreme mission conditions. Winners were offered additional training with career staff pilots and lucrative piloting contracts. This innovative recruiting tool has made them a key employer of top talent, and many former console gamers have found new lives as full-time UAV operators at Excellia’s main operations centers in San Antonio.
These recruiting events have also sparked intense controversy. Academics, legislators, and community leaders have raised ethical concerns about the dangers of blurring the line between real combat and virtual environments, and the Department of Labor has launched an investigation into allegations of extensive recruiting efforts targeting minors. Excellia defends their position, citing their clear policy of only offering full-time positions to legal adults, and citing existing military enlistment clauses allowing military service at ages as low as 17 with parental permission. Excellia’s public relations office also strenuously objected to any implication that their remote operations staff suffer from any discernible lack of empathy or impaired social function when compared to their peers.
Adam Hayman, 21, a Remote Operations Specialist at Excellia Battlefield Systems, had this to say about the controversy:
‘Whatever, I don’t feel like I’ve changed at all – look, before this I was a grocery bagger making $7.50 an hour. Here I get paid, and if it wasn’t me, it’d be someone else – you know? Plus they have all this counseling and screening sessions and stuff to make sure we’re not crazy. I go to work, fly, push the button, ’pew-pew-pew’ and go home… What? No, they never tell us who the clients are, and I don’t really want to know.’…”