The U.S. Air Force Laboratory has partnered with Kratos to bring the company’s low cost “wingman” from prototype to operational status.
In its first three flight tests, Kratos’s XQ-58A Valkyrie has successfully executed 100 percent of test points. The three virtually flawless flights totaled about 270 minutes of flight time.
The USAF envisions the Valkyrie with onboard sensors and weapons and will also look to implant artificial intelligence. The effort to incorporate AI is being called “Skyborg,” and will give the Valkyrie the ability to learn alongside pilots and even respond independently to threats.
Read more from Krato’s press release below:
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that the Kratos / AFRL team has successfully completed Valkyrie Flight 3. During the 90 minute flight, the XQ-58A executed a perfect launch and met 56 of 56 baseline test points, plus two additional test points with excess fuel remaining after completion of the mission. After successful completion of the flight, the recovery parachute system worked flawlessly, and the aircraft descended nominally under the canopy system. In final descent, the prototype cushion system, which was employed for the initial test series but is not intended for ultimate operational use, suffered an anomaly resulting in the aircraft sustaining damage upon touchdown. The XQ-58A Valkyrie, like all Kratos’ heritage drones and Kratos’ high performance jet target drones, are designed to be quickly repaired and reused if damage is sustained after performing operational missions. The Valkyrie has been recovered, and the damage has been initially evaluated and determined to be fully repairable. Kratos plans to address the cushion system prior to Flight 4 and complete its test flight series with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) while continuing to execute with its other Valkyrie customers.
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