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Kratos Demos XQ-58A EW Capabilities for USMC

San Diego-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. has successfully demonstrated the ability of its XQ-58A Valkyrie Uncrewed Air Vehicle (UAV) to fly in concert with two F-35 aircraft. They have also demonstrated the ability to deliver an integrated electronic attack (EA) capability on the Valkyrie during a live-flight test event at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The demonstration completes the first phase of the United States Marine Corps’ Penetrating Affordable Autonomous Collaborative Killer – Portfolio (PAACK-P) program. Flight test support was provided by the 40th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing. All flight test objectives were successfully met.

The demonstration follows the award of a US$22.9 million ($63.6 million) Phase 2 contract modification on December 4, 2023 for additional engineering development and flight test demonstrations, and marks a significant milestone in the PAACK-P program as the Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation Cunningham Group and Advanced Development Team, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) AIRWorks continue to inform MQ-58B requirements for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Expeditionary (MUX) Tactical Aircraft (TACAIR) for use in a Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) role.

The XQ-58A’s advanced EA payload autonomously detected, identified, and geolocated multiple tactically relevant targets of interest, transmitted emitter target track coordinates to collaborative assets, and successfully presented non-kinetic electronic attack effects against multiple emitters. Flying since 2019, the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie is a high-performance, runway-independent tactical UAV capable of long-range flights at high-subsonic speeds. The Valkyrie can serve as a loyal wingman, conduct single UAS operations, or operate in swarms. Combining 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 provides unmatched operational flexibility at an affordable price for multiple Department of Defense customers.

“MUX TACAIR promises to increase the lethality and survivability of our current crewed platforms,” said Lt. Col. Bradley Buick, Cunningham Group Capabilities, Research, and Integration Officer. “These platforms are the future of air warfare.”

Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “We’re very excited about the mission capability demonstrated during the flight and the incredible effectiveness per cost that this enables; not to mention the elimination of risk to a human pilot, and elimination of risk to expensive manned platforms.”

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