Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch

Northrop (Radioplane) KD2R-5/MQM-36 Shelduck

The KD2R-5 Shelduck was an improved version of the earlier KD2R-1 through -4 Quail models, which were the U.S. Navy equivalents of the USAF/Army OQ-19/MQM-33 series. The main improvement over the KD2R-3/OQ-19D was an improved autopilot and altitude-hold unit. The launch and recovery options were the same as for the OQ-19. The KD2R-5 was introduced in U.S. Navy service in the mid-1950s, and in June 1963, it was redesignated as MQM-36A.

Photo: Skytamer Images
KD2R-5 (MQM-36A)

The MQM-36A was the most advanced target drone of the OQ-19 family, and was exported in large numbers. It was built until the late 1980s, when it was known as BTT (Basic Training Target). The MQM-36A featured an AN/ARW-79 radio command guidance system with automatic altitude hold, and could be tracked visually or by radar. Optional mission equipment included radar reflector pods on the wingtips, flare kits, towed targets, and sophisticated scoring systems.

Photo: Northrop via Western Museum of Flight
KD2R-5 (MQM-36A)

The MQM-36A is no longer in service with the U.S. Navy. More than 73000 drones of the BTT family (including all OQ-19, KD2R, MQM-33, and MQM-36 versions) have been built by Northrop Ventura (formerly Radioplane).


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for MQM-36A:

Length3.85 m (12 ft 7.5 in)
Wingspan3.50 m (11 ft 6 in)
Height0.76 m (2 ft 6 in)
Weight180 kg (400 lb)
Speed360 km/h (224 mph)
Ceiling8230 m (27000 ft)
Endurance60 min.
Range340 km (210 miles)
PropulsionMcCulloch O-100-2 piston engine; 67 kW (90 hp)

Main Sources

[1] Kenneth Munson: "World Unmanned Aircraft", Jane's, 1988
[2] Kenneth Munson (ed.): "Jane's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Targets, Issue 15", Jane's, 2000
[3] R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1972-73", Jane's, 1973

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Last Updated: 9 October 2002