Kratos’ XQ-58A Valkyrie stealth-capable UCAV completes second test flight

Kratos’ XQ-58A Valkyrie stealth-capable unmanned combat aerial vehicle completed its second test flight on June 11, 2019, at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, the company announced Monday.

The XQ-58A demonstrator is a low-cost 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. During the latest flight, the vehicle successfully completed its test objectives during a 71-minute flight. 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.

The objectives of the LCAAT initiative include designing and building UAS faster by developing better design tools, and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost.

The time taken to conduct the first flight in March this year took a little over 2.5 years from contract award. The XQ-58A has a total of five planned test flights in two phases with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance, and launch and recovery systems.