U.S. Air Force’s new XQ-58A Valkyrie stealth Combat Drone makes second flight

U.S. Air Force’s new XQ-58A Valkyrie stealth Combat Drone makes second flight
XQ-58A demonstrator during second test flight on June 11, 2019. Photo by 2nd Lt Randolph Abaya, 586 Flight Test Squadron.

on 11 June U.S. Air Force and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. announced that newest XQ-58A Valkyrie long-range unmanned aerial vehicle completed its second flight at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a long-range, high subsonic, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator aircraft completed all test objectives during a 71-minute flight.

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) spokesperson Bryan Ripple said on 17 June that this flight was successful because the aircraft completed all of its test points and was safely recovered. Each flight is focused on expanding the aircraft’s capabilities, although Ripple did not provide specifics.

The XQ-58A made its debut flight on 5 March.  See Details: U.S. Air Force new Secretive XQ-58A Valkyrie Experimental stealth Combat Drone has made its first flight

Ripple said the second flight was different from the first in that the second flight was about expanding the aircraft’s flight envelope. Ripple said data are being analysed from these two flights and will inform the planning of the remaining flights.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie combat system is developing by the Air Force Research Laboratory partnered with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems.

The XQ-58A demonstrator is a low-cost unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed by Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on the Low-Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) Program.

The Valkyrie is a multi-mission, runway-independent UAS capable of long-range flights at high-subsonic speeds and a variety of applications.

The joint effort falls within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which has the objective to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.

Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, stated, “With this most recent milestone, the readiness of the XQ-58A is accelerating and increasing the near-term application opportunities for the system.

I am extremely proud of our development, production, and test teams who continue to deliver successful results, in record time, on our comprehensive system level efforts—rare within the aerospace and defense industry.

In addition, I appreciate the cooperative and team-based relationship Kratos has shared with AFRL in the development and demonstration of the Valkyrie.”


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