Electronic Warfare Capabilities Demonstrated for U.S. Marine Corps

Kratos has demonstrated that the XQ-58A can fly in concert with two F-35 aircraft and can use an EA payload to autonomously detect, identify, and geolocate multiple tactically relevant targets By Abi Wylie / 04 Apr 2024
Electronic Warfare Capabilities Demonstrated for U.S. Marine Corps
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Kratos Unmanned Systems Division has successfully demonstrated that the XQ-58A can fly in concert with two F-35 aircraft and is able to deliver an integrated electronic attack (EA) capability on the XQ-58A Valkyrie aircraft.

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.

Kratos Unmanned Systems Division is a branch of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., who carried out this demonstration 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 $22.9M “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.

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.

“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, added; “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. 

“We’re proud to be pioneering these technologies with our integrated autonomous aircraft systems that truly validate the DoD’s goal of achieving effective, survivable, affordable mass.  We are humbled to support the vision and drive of our Marine’s 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 EW systems, and the Marine Corps.”

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact