Another XQ-58A Valkyrie flight

The Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie pictured during its second test flight on June 11, 2019.
Lt Randolph Abaya/US Air Force via Kratos Defense and Security Solutions

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions recently disclosed its XQ-58A Valkyrie completed another successful test/ demonstration flight at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona.

The XQ-58A is a low-cost UAV developed by Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for the Low Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator (LCASD) Program, designed to operate alongside manned platforms in the Loyal Wingman role. During the latest flight, which followed a first flight on March 5, 2019, the vehicle successfully completed its test objectives during a 71-minute flight. There are five test flights planned to evaluate system functionality, aerodynamic performance and launch and recovery systems.

Kratos said: “The Valkyrie is a multimission, runwayindependent UAS capable of long-range flights at highsubsonic speeds and a variety of applications.” The system, and the LCASD requirement, fall within the AFRL’s wider Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, which the US Air Force says intends, “to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft” by reducing development time and costs for new systems by developing better design tools and using commercial manufacturing processes.

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