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Air Force Test-Flies Kratos-Made Attritable Unmanned Aircraft

XQ-58A Valkyrie Photo from USAF
XQ-58A Valkyrie, Photo from USAF

The U.S. Air Force and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions demonstrated flight of an attritable XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aircraft system designed to require fewer maintenance costs compared to other models.

The fifth demonstration of the Kratos-made aircraft took place at Arizona-based Yuma Proving Ground on Dec. 9 with Air Force Research Laboratory under the attritableONE program, Robins Air Force Base said Tuesday.

F-22 and F-35 aircraft flew alongside the autonomous Valkyrie during the test flight to exhibit a potential low-cost military UAS for manned-unmanned teaming.

Michael Wipperman, program manager for the XQ-58A at AFRL, said the UAS demonstrated 80 percent of what the test was meant to exhibit.

“This was just a first step at demonstrating the potential of the force multiplier effects of attritable aircraft in a manned/unmanned environment," said Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, AFRL's commander.

USAF envisions the use of low-cost attritable aircraft that can be reused with minimal maintenance needs. Kratos developed XQ-58A over two and a half years before the test flight.

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Written by Nichols Martin

a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, produces articles on the federal government's technology and business interests. The coverage of these articles include government contracting, cybersecurity, information technology, health care and national security.

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