USAF XQ-58 Valkyrie UAV completes first flight
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio. The U.S. Air Force XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator completed its maiden flight at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle (UAV) developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in partnership with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems. This joint effort falls within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which aims to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.
The objectives of the LCAAT initiative include designing and building UAVs faster by developing better design tools and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost.
USAF officials comment that the aircraft behaved as expected and completed 76 minutes of flight time. The time to first flight took a little over 2.5 years from contract award. The XQ-58A has a total of five planned test flights in two phases with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance and launch and recovery systems.