SAN DIEGO, Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a Technology Company in the Defense, National Security and Global Markets and an industry-leading provider of high-performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial systems, today announced the Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie, a highly autonomous, low-cost tactical unmanned air vehicle successfully completed its first test flight October 3, 2023, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Kratos partnered with the Marine Corps, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)), the Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Warfare Center Aircraft Division to facilitate the ongoing research, development, test and evaluation of the Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie.
Valkyrie and F-16; Valkyrie has flown with nearly every fighter type in the U.S. Inventory
Valkyrie and F-16 are available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9a59b257-7a99-4489-84fd-aed0df8de6c7
This joint collaboration was supported by the 40th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. This flight marks a key milestone in the Marine Corps’ Penetrating Affordable Autonomous Collaborative Killer – Portfolio (PAACK-P) program. Future test flights inform Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie requirements for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Unmanned Aerial System Expeditionary (MUX) Tactical Aircraft (TACAIR).
“This XQ-58A test flight and the data collected inform future requirements for the warfighter, while fueling innovation and experimentation opportunities within Marine Corps modernization and industry partnership,” said Scott Bey, portfolio manager of OUSD (R&E), Mission Capabilities, Prototypes and Experiments.
The aircraft performed as expected. The XQ-58A has a total of six planned test flights with objectives that include evaluating the platform’s ability to support a variety of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions; the effectiveness of autonomous electronic support to crewed platforms; the potential for AI-enabled platforms to augment combat air patrols; and continuing to mature other manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability objectives.
“The Marine Corps constantly seeks to modernize and enhance its capabilities in a rapidly evolving security environment,” said Lt. Col. Donald Kelly, Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation Cunningham Group and Advanced Development Team. “Testing the XQ-58 Valkyrie determines requirements for a highly autonomous, low-cost tactical UAS that compliments the need for agile, expeditionary and lethal capabilities in support of both the Marine Corps’ stand-in force operations in austere environments and the Joint Force.”
Marines XQ-58A showing off its unique graphics scheme in flight
Marines XQ-58A is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3615b2ad-0ead-4d49-be63-ddb094cba2cc
Flying since 2019, Kratos’ XQ-58A Valkyrie is a high-performance tactical UAV capable of long-range flights at high-subsonic speeds currently in production in Oklahoma City. The Valkyrie can serve as a loyal wingman, conduct single UAS operations, or operate in swarms. Combined with its affordability, survivability, long-range, high-subsonic speeds, maneuverability, and ability to carry flexible mission kit configurations and mix of lethal weapons from its internal bomb bay and wing stations, the XQ-58A provide extreme flexibility for the multiple Department of Defense customers that have it under contract today.
With design and production approaches leveraged and evolved from Kratos’ jet drone target aircraft, the high-performance Valkyrie falls well within the attritable cost class as defined by the House-passed 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—another key discriminator and a key enabling technology to achieve the Department of Defense’s mass mission.
Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “We are incredibly proud to have kicked off this first flight of the unique Marines Valkyrie mission configuration with such a successful result and look forward to continuing the partnership and cooperative team working relationship with the Marine Corps, the 40th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division.”
Kratos’ American-made, affordable, high-performance jet aircraft offer affordable solutions to the production, deployment, and engagement of affordable mass for U.S. military defense. Kratos’ unique approach and portfolio of in-production and flying UAVs directly align with the Department of Defense’s most recent technology, strategy, and affordability thrusts by delivering systems well within the prescribed cost thresholds which can deploy and operate from even the most remote regions around the world.
About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS) is a technology company that develops and fields transformative, affordable systems, products, and solutions for United States National Security, our allies, and global commercial enterprises. At Kratos, Affordability is a Technology, and Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology is rapidly brought to market – at a low cost – with actual products, systems, and technologies rather than slide decks or renderings. Through proven commercial and venture capital-backed approaches, including proactive, internally funded research and streamlined development processes, Kratos is focused on being First to Market with our solutions well in advance of the competition. Kratos is the recognized Technology Disruptor in our core market areas, including Space and Satellite Communications, Cyber Security and Warfare, Unmanned Systems, Rocket and Hypersonic Systems, Next-Generation Jet Engines and Propulsion Systems, Microwave Electronics, C5ISR, and Virtual and Augmented Reality Training Systems. For more information, visit http://www.KratosDefense.com.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 25, 2022, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos.
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