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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc has announced the Kratos VALKYRIE UAS AttritableONE flight test, enabling the F-22 and F-35 5th generation fighters to fly in formation together, has been successfully completed at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The test was led by an integrated Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) acquisition team comprised of Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center personnel working in conjunction with Eglin Air Force Base’s 46th Test Squadron.

During the test event, the Air Force’s F-22 RAPTOR and F-35 LIGHTNING II fighters formed up off the wings of the smaller VALKYRIE as it continued to fly autonomously. This is a major milestone in the service’s efforts to provide low cost force multipliers in relevant operational environments.

Kratos VALKYRIE Role

Developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and AFRL as part of the latter’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, the XQ-58A is designed to be a runway-independent, re-usable UAV capable of a broad range of operational missions. The XQ-58A was developed through low cost procurement and is designed to be significantly less expensive to operate than traditional piloted or unpiloted vehicles, while capable of achieving the same critical missions. Taking only two and a half years from contract award to first flight, it is the first example of a class of UAVs developed through this time-saving process, which seeks to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.

Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “Kratos is extremely proud of the roles our XQ-58A VALKYRIE and personnel are playing in enabling and demonstrating this key ABMS capability while aimed at maximising the effectiveness of the exquisite fifth generation fighter systems. We are committed to development and realisation of affordable defence technologies making today particularly exciting for us with this substantial achievement.”

Jack Richardson