Us: the future UCAV XQ-58A "Valkyrie" soon in flight
The maximum of current technologies for what may be the new USAF drone
In recent years, the US Air Force (USAF) has been trying to develop a combat drone (UCAV, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) that can work alongside the F-22 and F-35 during operations. The Kratos XQ-58A "Valkyrie" would be the drone identified for this task, also because it was designed to work together with fighter and fighter-bomber, both through electronic warfare capabilities and through targeted missile attacks against enemy anti-aircraft positions. In addition to this the XQ-58A also fully meets another requirement now fundamental, namely a low cost compared to its capabilities in order to avoid high costs -like the fifth generation fighters- to the United States.
UCAV will be able to fly at almost supersonic speeds -Mach 0.9, according to "Popular Mechanics"-with an autonomy of almost 3000 km, with a maximum of two GBU-39 bombs of 250 lbs each on board. At the moment the XQ-58A is a prototype and representation of what can be done with modern technologies, but at the same time it will soon take its first flight to demonstrate its new generation capabilities.
© AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl