Unmanned US fighter jet XQ-58A Valkyrie completed mission test, overcame loss of communications – Technology Org

The production model of an autonomous fighter jet XQ-58A Valkyrie passed its flight test.

XQ-58A Valkyrie.

XQ-58A Valkyrie. Image credit: US Air Force

This new-generation unmanned aircraft is being developed by the US Air Force and defense contractor Kratos.

Kratos chief executive Eric DeMarco announced that XQ-58A Valkyrie managed to demonstrate extended capabilities, achieving a key milestone in the development of autonomous flight technologies.

The US Air Force is currently seeking to develop autonomous, unpiloted, combat-ready jet fighters to be used in combination with piloted airplanes.

The latest test of the XQ-58A Valkyrie was performed using an encrypted communications system coupled with a redundant data transmission subsystem. During the experiment, a scenario involving communications loss was simulated, and the plane was able to land safely in the target zone.

Ensuring proper operation of UAVs is the top priority in such aircraft, said Eric DeMarco. He explained that such functionality is indispensable in order to avoid being detected by the enemy by minimizing radio emissions.

The initial batch of twelve XQ-58A Valkyrie units will be built in 2023.


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