Ryan BQM-34 Firebee

The Ryan Firebee is a series of target drones developed by the Ryan Aeronautical Company beginning in 1951. It was one of the first jet-propelled drones, and remains one of the most widely used target drones ever built.

The Firebee target drone has proven successful and remains in operation with the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Firebees have also served with the Canadian Armed Forces and Japan Self-Defense Forces, with Japanese Firebees built by Fuji Heavy Industries. A small number were also supplied to NATO programs. More than 7,000 Firebees have been built, with 1,280 of these being first generation variants.

The Firebee target vehicle's success led to Ryan being asked to develop a reconnaissance version, which became the highly successful Model 147 Fire Fly and Lightning Bug series; these saw extensive service in the Vietnam War.

The last Firebee was delivered in 2002, but Northrop Grumman is hoping for new orders, and the company is implementing upgrades for existing machines such as GPS programmable waypoint navigation systems and satellite links.