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The MAV (RQ-16A T-Hawk) in real life.

The RQ-16A T-Hawk is a man-portable micro air vehicle (MAV) that has been in use with the United States Navy since 2008 and is produced by Honeywell International, Inc. It was proposed to be used by the United States Army and would have entered service in 2011, but the program it was in was canceled in 2010. The craft comes with placement for both a downward and forward looking day or IR camera.

Battlefield 3

"A remotely operated Micro Air Vehicle equipped with a suite of Motion Sensors and a camera with IRNV capabilities for aerial reconnaissance."

— Battlelog description

The MAV is a gadget featured in Battlefield 3.


During Thunder Run, a remote MAV operator patches his video feed to the "Anvil" armored detachment, allowing Corporal Miller to designate an airstrike on a rocket artillery camp. A pair of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs respond and strafe the camp, but only result to little effect on the target, primarily taking care of infantry and anti-air emplacements over the BM-21s.


The MAV is a gadget issued to the Recon Kit. It is deployable and is used to remotely spot enemies.[1] Players can earn awards for effective use of the MAV.

Standard thermal imaging can highlight certain equipment. Visibility is limited to a sector below horizontal and above vertical. This prevents the operator from seeing anything directly underneath or the hemisphere above itself.

A built-in motion sensor can passively detect moving infantry and vehicles. This function detects enemies in an infinitely tall cylinder (with a vertical axis) around the MAV, capable of detecting enemies through roofs and other map features. Like the T-UGS, the motion sensor function can only detect moving enemies, and it does not provide real-time data on enemy movement, only "pings" of their locations that appear on friendly minimaps. The T-UGS has a faster scan rate and smaller profile. If left unattended, the MAV can continue to provide surveillance, and the operator will gain both Spotting and Motion Sensor Assists. Spring metal feet allow the vehicle to safely return to ground if the vehicle is airborne at the time.

Though not equipped with weapons, the MAV can jam and thus destroy various enemy gadgets by pressing Fire or Countermeasures. The operator can obtain weapon lock from a fair distance away to simplify the process, but can still destroy devices that are not locked with good aim. Enemy MAVs may evade lock if they are very close. Should opposing MAVs be near each other at their flight ceiling, scoring a disable requires an exceedingly difficult glancing hit since they cannot aim directly at each other.

The MAV is capable of roadkills by ramming into an opposing player at high speeds. In the killfeed, it is usually referred to as "KILLED" and the victim can't be revived by any friendly Assault, although after a patch the killfeed will occasionally mention MAV as the cause of death correctly and the victim can be revived. The operator of the MAV doesn't show up on the killcam. Since the 1.04 patch, the MAV is destroyed in the process of getting a roadkill.

MAVs have their own minimap icon. Friendly MAVs appear in blue, while spotted enemy MAVs appear in red.

The MAV can be shot down by enemies, though its small size and decent maneuverability make the task difficult. This is balanced out by the fact that it can be locked on not only by anti-air weapons but also by guided missiles that would ordinarily require laser designation to shoot aerial targets, such as Javelins and guided shells. It can also be laser designated as with manned vehicles, although teammates might not see the designation marker on their end.

If the MAV strays out of bounds for too long, it will be automatically destroyed. The operator can simply exit remote viewing, leaving the MAV where it is, and resume viewing to restart the countdown. The operator cannot use the remote when out of bounds, preventing exploits of the map boundary by the character himself. The MAV shares boundaries with soldiers, despite being an aerial vehicle.

In certain small maps like Seine Crossing, the MAV has a low ceiling (lower than the rooftops), limiting its ability to traverse the battlefield. The MAV can't hover in those maps either, requiring players to constantly hold down the ascend button/key to stay at maximum altitude. Unseen map geometry features can also make for some tricky maneuvering.

HUD Elements

Like the EOD Bot, the MAV shows various bits of info in its display[2][3]:

  • Camera bearing
  • GPS latitude and longitude
  • Camera elevation/declination
  • Recording time of day
  • Range in meters to crosshair target (maximum of 200 m)

Jam Equipment

The MAV can jam certain devices, locking on and destroying them and earning the player 20 points:

Claymore mines can also be spotted and destroyed, though they cannot be locked on like other devices. Anti-tank mines and C4 cannot be detonated, but can be seen in infrared and spotted for teammates to see.

Battlefield 4

The MAV is a gadget set to be featured for the Recon class in Battlefield 4. It functions in a similar manner to that of its predecessor.


  • During the beta, the MAV was able to carry C4 for use in a C4 UAV attack, and carry other soldiers (similar to the drone elevator exploit). The C4 carrying ability was removed in the retail version (as with similar behaviors with the EOD Bot). The C4 packs will simply not stick to the device. The soldier carrying abilities were patched later in the March 1.04 update.
  • The MAV can destroy the Gunship by flying into it and the operator exiting controls at the last moment.
  • The 1.05 patch made anti-air weaponry more reliable. As such, MAVs can no longer escape heat seekers or guided weapons by staying in motion.
  • If the MAV stops being controlled by the player, the lock-on may be interrupted.

External Links


  1. - PAX 2011 Recap Part 1 - Battlefielo - Retrieved August 29
  2. - BF3 MAV Beta Gameplay - YouTube - Retrieved October 22
  3. - MAV Montage Gameplay - YouTube - Retrieved 3 January
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