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July 19, 2022

Kratos completes flight series with two production XQ-58A Valkyrie UAVs

The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a long-range, tactical, low-cost, high-speed uncrewed air vehicle.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has successfully completed a series of flights with two production XQ-58A Valkyrie low-cost uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs).

The company is developing the XQ-58A UAV under the US Air Force’s (USAF) Skyborg programme.

Apart from Kratos and the USAF, the programme team includes the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate, 40th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) and 46th Test Squadron.

Kratos uncrewed systems division president Steve Fendley said: “The continued evolution and demonstration of the USAF Skyborg system is charting the course for the range of tactical applications Skyborg is intended to address and inform.

“These most recent Skyborg flights, with production Valkyrie aircraft being delivered on Skyborg contract, illustrate benefits and utility of these uncrewed systems while informing operational concepts and Concepts of Employment (CONEMPS).

“The entire Kratos team is excited to be part of this game-changing application space for military uncrewed aircraft systems.”

The programme involved five test flights, which were already completed by Kratos.

The UAV completed its maiden flight test in March 2019, followed by the second test in June 2019.

During its third flight test in October 2019, the aircraft suffered a mishap and was damaged after landing.

It was followed by the fourth and fifth flight tests in January and December 2020, respectively.

The XQ-58A UAV was initially developed by Kratos in collaboration with the AFRL on the low-cost attritable strike demonstrator (LCASD) programme, with multiple follow-on projects and programmes.

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