Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie UCAV

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Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie UCAV

The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie is a planned stealthy unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) that is to be deployed by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was initially designated XQ-222. The Valkyrie successfully completed its first flight on 5 March 2019 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.

Design objectives

The XQ-58 Valkyrie falls within the USAF Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which objectives include designing and building 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.

It must also be able to be deployed as part of a swarm of drones, with or without a controlled device.

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.

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Length: 28 ft 10 in (8.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 22 ft 0 in (6.7 m)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 567 kn (652 mph; 1,050 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.85
  • Range: 2,128 nmi (2,449 mi; 3,941 km)
  • Service ceiling: 44,997 ft (13,715 m)

Armament

  • Hardpoints: 8 – 2 weapon bays with 4 in each with a capacity of 550 lb (250 kg) each,
  • Bombs: JDAM, Small diameter bomb

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Video of the new containerized launching system for the XQ-58A

Photo By 88 Air Base Wing Public Affairs – https://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1777743/xq-58a-valkyrie-demonstrator-completes-inaugural-flight/, Public Domain, Link

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