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Valkyrie Tactical Drone Demos Electronic Warfare Attack for US Marines

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions has showcased the XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial system’s electronic warfare capabilities for the US Marine Corps at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

During the test, the Valkyrie flew with two F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft and performed an integrated electronic attack.

The tactical drone’s electronic warfare payload identified, tracked, and geolocated multiple targets, relayed coordinates to collaborative equipment, and successfully delivered non-kinetic effects against the simulated threats without human intervention.

The company wrote that the XQ-58A passed all flight evaluations during the trial, enabling the Marines to continue with the next stages of the program.

Additional support was provided by the US Air Force’s 40th Flight Test Squadron, 96th Test Wing.

“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,” Kratos Unmanned Systems Division President Steve Fendley stated.

XQ‑58A Valkyrie unmanned aircraft. Image: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions

PAACK-P Program

Kratos noted that the Eglin activity concluded the initial phase of the Penetrating Affordable Autonomous Collaborative Killer – Portfolio (PAACK-P) initiative.

The program aims to establish teaming between “wingman” drones and piloted fighter jets for various military missions, including crewed aircraft support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and strike operations.

The XQ-58A completed its maiden flight for PAACK-P at the same site in October 2023.

“We’re proud to be pioneering these technologies with our integrated autonomous aircraft systems that truly validate the goal of achieving effective, survivable, affordable mass,” Fendley said.

“We are humbled to support the vision and drive of our Marines customer who has charted the course for these critical 21st century capabilities and proud to be working as a collective team with Kratos high performance uncrewed jets, Northrop Grumman’s leading technology systems, and the Marine Corps.”

Kratos’ Valkyrie

The XQ-58 Valkyrie measures 30 feet (9 meters) and has a wingspan of 27 feet (8.2 meters).

It has a cruise speed of 476 knots (882 kilometers/548 miles per hour) and a range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 kilometers/3,500 miles).

The vehicle has a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds (2,722 kilograms) and can reach 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) of altitude.

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