SHEPARD X-Plane Receives Official Designation

SHEPARD - the Series Hybrid Electric Propulsion AiRcraft Demonstration program X-plane has been assigned the official designation XRQ-73 by DARPA By Sarah Simpson / 28 Jun 2024
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s SHEPARD program’s hybrid-electric uncrewed aircraft system has received its official designation: XRQ-73.

SHEPARD X-Plane Receives Official Designation: XRQ-73

SHEPARD is part of DARPA’s “X-prime” program, leveraging the series hybrid electric architecture and some of the component technologies from the earlier AFRL/IARPA Great Horned Owl (GHO) project.

The first flight of the XRQ-73, a Group 3 UAS weighing approximately 1,250 pounds, is expected by year-end 2024.

The prime contractor is Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Aeronautics Systems sector in Redondo Beach, CA.

Scaled Composites, LLC is a major supplier, along with Cornerstone Research Group, Inc., Brayton Energy, LLC, PC Krause and Associates, and EaglePicher Technologies, LLC.

The DARPA team includes members from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and warfighters.

The idea behind a DARPA X-prime program is to take emerging technologies and burn down system-level integration risks to quickly mature a new missionized long endurance aircraft design that can be fielded quickly,” commented Steve Komadina, SHEPARD program manager.

The SHEPARD program is maturing a specific propulsion architecture and power class as an exemplar of potential benefits for the Department of Defense.”

Posted by Sarah Simpson Connect & Contact
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