Kratos to launch XQ-222 Valkyrie, UTAP-22 Mako at Paris Air Show 2017

15 June 2017 (Last Updated June 15th, 2017 18:30)

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions is to launch a new class of military unmanned aerial systems (UASs), XQ-222 Valkyrie, and UTAP-22 Mako, at the Paris Air Show this year.

Kratos to launch XQ-222 Valkyrie, UTAP-22 Mako at Paris Air Show 2017

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions is to launch a new class of military unmanned aerial systems (UASs), XQ-222 Valkyrie, and UTAP-22 Mako, at the Paris Air Show this year.

The Valkyrie and Mako drones are designed to function as wingmen to manned aircraft in contested airspace.

These highly manoeuvrable, stealthy UASs can carry and deploy weapons or surveillance systems, by flying at near-supersonic speeds.

The 30ft-long Valkyrie has a range of more than 3,000 nautical miles, Kratos stated.

The US Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) recently announced Valkyrie at a presentation on its low-cost attritable aircraft technology (LCAAT) programme at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, US.

Kratos said that the Valkyrie has been in development since July 2016, when the US Air Force contracted the company to develop the LCAAT.

AFRL LCAAT project manager Bill Baron was quoted by the Dayton Daily News as saying: "If you team up a bunch of these aircraft with an F-35 or an F-22, or some of our surveillance assets, you'd basically be able to cover more space at a lower cost point.

"In a lot of cases, we don't have enough airplanes and, as you look to the future, our fleet sizes are most likely going to continue to be more limited so this is a way to provide a force multiplier."

"These highly manoeuvrable, stealthy UASs can carry and deploy weapons or surveillance systems, by flying at near-supersonic speeds."

The Valkyrie is expected to conduct its first flight next year.

The Mako, which is already operational, is scheduled for follow-on test flights in June, July and August this year.

As part of the tests, Mako will carry sensors and be teamed with manned aircraft.

The Paris Air Show will begin on 19 June and run until 25 June.


Image: XQ-222 Valkyrie and UTAP-22 Mako drones provide fighter-like performance. Photo: courtesy of Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc.