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XQ-58A to Make Maiden Flight Next Week

The XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned “loyal wingman” by Kratos Defence and Security Solutions Inc will be making its first flight, an executive from the company said in Australia.

Rival Boeing Co on Wednesday unveiled a model of a larger drone developed in Australia that is designed for the same mission: flying alongside crewed aircraft in combat.

Jeff Herro, Kratos’s senior vice president for business development, says his company’s solution is different from Boeing’s.

“We are not going after the market that Boeing is. This is a different market,” he said. “I don’t think that people are going to buy 1,000 of those. Our whole plan is to extend the mission capability sets of  fighters. That is what we want to do both in range and capabilities and affordability.”

Boeing has declined to disclose the sales price, but defence industry sources said it was expected to cost around $8 million to $10 million. That aircraft is expected to make its first flight next year.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie developed by Kratos, has a longer range than Boeing’s planned 2,000 nautical miles. It is smaller and rather than using runways, launches like a rocket and lands with a parachute.



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