The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie is an experimental stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle
Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie
The XQ-58 Valkyrie falls within the USAF Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which objectives include designing and building Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) faster by developing better design tools, and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost. The role of the LCAAT is to escort the F-22 or F-35 during combat missions, and to be able to deploy weapons or surveillance systems.
The XQ-58 was designed to act as a 'loyal wingman' that is controlled by a parent aircraft to accomplish tasks such as scouting, or absorb enemy fire if attacked.
It must also be able to be deployed as part of a swarm of drones, with or without direct pilot control.
It features stealth technology with a trapezoidal fuselage with a chined edge, V-tail, and an S-shaped air intake.
The first flight took place approximately 2.5 years from contract award. A total of five test flights are planned in two phases to evaluate system functionality, aerodynamic performance, and launch and recovery systems.
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Defense company Kratos has announced that it will show two low-cost combat drones at the Paris Air Show next week, offering an insight as to what military conflicts might look like in the foreseeable future – a manned combat jet leading dozens of 1,000 km/h lethally-armed unmanned companions.
Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie
The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie is an experimental stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designed and built by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for the United States Air Force Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) program, under the USAF Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) project portfolio. It was initially designated XQ-222. The Valkyrie successfully completed its first flight on 5 March 2019 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona
Role Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
National origin United States
Manufacturer Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
First flight 5 March 2019
Status In development
Primary user United States Air Force
Length: 28 ft 10 in (8.8 m)
Wingspan: 22 ft 0 in (6.7 m)
Maximum speed: 567 kn (652 mph, 1,050 km/h)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.85
Service ceiling: 44,997 ft (13,715 m)
Hardpoints: 8 - 2 weapon bays with 4 in each - with a capacity of up to 550 lb (250 kg),
Bombs: JDAM, Small diameter bomb
Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie UCAV
When looking at Quiet Bird, especially in these new images and schematics released to us from Boeing, it is amazing how many stealth features that are used in modern day low-observable aircraft designs existed on this 50-year-old concept.