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AFRL Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) Program

TAOG

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XQ-58A could carry 4 SDBs or at least two Peregrine-sized AAM internally.

"... Speaking hypothetically about future capabilities, Fendley also says the recently unveiled Raytheon Peregrine, a half-sized, medium-range, air-to-air missile, could be carried in the XQ-58A’s weapons bay. The Lockheed Martin Cuda might be another air-to-air missile candidate, he says.

The UAV’s weapons bay is sized to carry four small diameter bombs, but could fit at least two Peregrine-sized air-to-air missiles, says Fendley. Adding air-to-air missiles to the XQ-58A would help fulfill one of its envisioned roles as an escort wingman for manned aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II or Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18E/F. ..."

 

litzj

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XQ-58A could carry 4 SDBs or at least two Peregrine-sized AAM internally.

"... Speaking hypothetically about future capabilities, Fendley also says the recently unveiled Raytheon Peregrine, a half-sized, medium-range, air-to-air missile, could be carried in the XQ-58A’s weapons bay. The Lockheed Martin Cuda might be another air-to-air missile candidate, he says.

The UAV’s weapons bay is sized to carry four small diameter bombs, but could fit at least two Peregrine-sized air-to-air missiles, says Fendley. Adding air-to-air missiles to the XQ-58A would help fulfill one of its envisioned roles as an escort wingman for manned aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II or Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18E/F. ..."


Really, small-sized weapon(SDB, or CUDA class weapon) make some help for cost reduction of war
 

Flyaway

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The Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was damaged during landing after completing its third flight on 9 October in Yuma, Arizona.

 

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Kratos Defense & Security could experience delays in some of its production programmes if the US Congress cannot reach a budget agreement for fiscal year 2020, (FY 2020) according to the US-based company.

Some programmes currently in low-rate production, including the US Navy’s Sub-Sonic Aerial Target (SSAT) and a “very profitable” classified unmanned systems effort, will not be able to move into full-rate production if lawmakers continue to keep the government funded with short-term measures, called continuing resolutions, instead of passing full-year legislation, said Eric DeMarco, Kratos’ president and CEO.

While DeMarco told analysts on 5 November that Kratos expects to receive its first “substantial” order for the US Air Force’s high-subsonic XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aircraft about 90 days after an FY 2020 budget agreement becomes law, no such deal is in sight, even though the fiscal year began more than a month ago.


some codenames

As we reported on our last earnings call, Program F has successfully completed its initial under contract demonstration flight series, and additional contract demonstration flights for enhanced capabilities are now planned for the first half of 2019. Once all planned demonstration flights are successfully completed, we expect an initial Project F unit order late in 2019 or early the following year.

We can now also report to you that we expect Project Spartan, which has an extremely high-performance drone we have been working on, which is flying today to be under contract in Q2, Q3 of 2019 for initial demonstration flights.

We have also now begun initial discussions with the customer on what we internally and initially will call Project A and Project Z, with each of these UAS' also now flying today. Project A and Project Z are 2 new tactical system-related opportunities we have been working on for some time now. And we are expected to continue to make progress on each of these going forward, with hopes through an initial contract award late in 2019 or early the following year, also as related to the 2020 budget.

Additionally, and very importantly, we are close to executing a lease on another large, new drone manufacturing facility, which will require custom build-out over the next several months for security-related reasons related to a new tactical program we have recently been successful on, Program [Fanatose], which is expected to have a material financial impact to Kratos beginning in 2020. Due to the restricted nature of this new Kratos program, we are unable to provide any further details at this time.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/edited-transcript-ktos-earnings-conference-042512563.html
 
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seruriermarshal

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AFRL XQ-58A Valkyrie expands flight envelope in fourth test
By Holly Jordan, AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate / Published January 24, 2020

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory, along with partner Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., completed the successful fourth flight test of the XQ-58A Valkyrie low-cost unmanned air vehicle demonstrator Jan. 23, 2020, at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.

During the test event, the Valkyrie demonstrator’s flight successfully met all of the test objectives, and the envelope was expanded beyond prior tests before safely landing in the Arizona dessert. According to AFRL XQ-58A Program Manager Michael Wipperman, flying at higher altitude allowed researchers to gather data in an operational environment more representative of real-world flight conditions.

“Flying at this altitude helped us gather important data such as vehicle response to temperature and vibration, which will prepare us as we move toward our next flight test,” said Wipperman.

This test event represents a return-to-flight for the XQ-58A, which experienced a mishap upon landing after a successful 90-minute flight in October 2019. Following a Safety Investigation Board probe into the mishap, Wipperman says the resulting information was outbriefed to the convening authority, and the recommendations were taken and approved to ensure the success of this latest test.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of this fourth flight test,” said Wipperman.” We were able to show recovery for a successful flight at even higher altitudes. Given that we have overcome these challenges, we have confidence that the aircraft can continue its progression into flying in more representative conditions.”

Developed as part of AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, the XQ-58A is designed to be a runway-independent, reusable unmanned air vehicle capable of a broad range of operational missions. The XQ-58A was developed through low cost procurement and is designed to be significantly less expensive to operate than traditional piloted or unpiloted vehicles, while capable of achieving the same critical missions. Taking only 2.5 years from contract award to first flight, it is the first example of a class of unmanned air vehicles developed through this time-saving process, which seeks to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.

A total of five flights are planned for the XQ-58A, with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance, and launch and recovery systems. The fifth flight, scheduled for later this year, will be a capability demonstration showcasing the ability of the vehicle to support operational needs.

 

Helix88

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XQ-58A can be launched from the air platform.

thanks for catching that...but what platform, and in particular fighters, can carry something like that aloft? o_O

I remember reading somewhere about a pylon mounted drone that could be released to defend AWACS/ Tankers. I cant for the life of me remember where now... it would seem to be an option just an escort that you carry with you type deal. Though that would decrease loiter or payload as a tradeoff opposed to a separate escort.
 

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Not necessarily the Valkyrie:
The XQ-58A Valkyrie is one example of a combat drone aircraft. It is not known which planes will be used in the test
 

Flyaway

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Just found this interesting article on the BBC News Website about the XQ-58 Valkyrie going to be used in tests against manned aircraft starting next year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52933958

This appears to be the source article.

 

FighterJock

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Just found this interesting article on the BBC News Website about the XQ-58 Valkyrie going to be used in tests against manned aircraft starting next year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52933958

This appears to be the source article.


So the unmanned aircraft is not the Valkyrie, it will be yet another aircraft that has not been designed and built yet, so it looks as if the BBC News Website got confused about the type of aircraft that will take part in the tests.
 

TomS

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Just found this interesting article on the BBC News Website about the XQ-58 Valkyrie going to be used in tests against manned aircraft starting next year.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52933958

This appears to be the source article.


So the unmanned aircraft is not the Valkyrie, it will be yet another aircraft that has not been designed and built yet, so it looks as if the BBC News Website got confused about the type of aircraft that will take part in the tests.

It sounds to me as though the initial push is to add an autonomous dogfight control system to an existing aircraft like the QF-16 and then probably an F-35 (Because why risk an irreplaceable F-22 at this point?).

Designing a new airframe woudn't make sense as part of this initial effort. Why spend money developing a new airframe if it turns out the autonomous software isn't up to snuff?

Inside Defense reported in May 2018 the “big moonshot” would first insert machine-learning technology into a less-advanced plane, like an F-16, before trying it in a newer jet, like an F-35 or F-22.
 

AN/AWW-14(V)

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EdhlJqfXkAE3X5X

EdhlKvCXoAAn_JK



:D many years ago:
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TomcatViP

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In a semifinal Thursday, Lockheed beat Physics AI. Heron defeated Aurora in the other semifinal and then took down Lockheed in the final. Heron scored five kills vs. zero for the human pilot.

The F-16 pilot, Banger, said the exercise led him to trust the dogfighting algorithms, particularly their demonstrated “fine motor movement” (and hence maneuvering), their rapid decision-making ability and their targeting capability – with caveats.

“Some of the rules and constraints that we normally apply to our human training environment weren’t there. So you saw the AI maneuvering to a position of advantage where it was able to use its more refined aiming technique with perfect information… Outside of that, it was very similar to what we see in our ordinary training in [simulators],” he said.
[...]
Col. Javorsek thinks they’ve achieved [their goals :]
“If we’ve convinced even a couple of pilots watching that what they were seeing from the Heron autonomous agent looked like it was intelligent and making smart decisions in this dynamic engagement, then I consider it a success.”
 
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jsport

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I suspect "hyper density" air combat that overwhelms humans will become the standard tactic, where AI can leverage faster speeds to mass and cognitively overload human opponents in all close fights. Only hit and run standoff and counter-AI work against such threats.

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The next gen "tactical" optimization after that for the next big war may very well be very novel where we even lack the right language to talk about effectively.

Out with OODA and in with Adversarial Inputs, physical maneuvers with intent to crash computers when observed. Higher level tactics would be about isolating and exploiting weakness in cognitive capability of subcomponents of manned-unmanned teaming systems.
 

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LCASD-team-scaled-e1595956260561-1280x720.jpg

 

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TomcatViP

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Oklahoman Valkyrie :
The San Diego-based defense contractor increased the size of its operation here by 50%, and now uses over 150,000 square feet at the Will Rogers Business Park. Steve Fendley, president of Kratos' unmanned systems division, said the expansion will be used for manufacturing and integration of the XQ-58 Valkyrie tactical aircraft and two other classified projects.
 

jsport

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Clearly a set of uninspiring, rehash, slightly more stealthy tube and wing from the Vietnam era, therefore obvious legislative support. Teledyne Ryan had proposed such stealth in the by gone ages.. sad
 

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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that Kratos’ Turbine Technologies Division (KTT) has been awarded a $12.7 million task order under its Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission (ATTAM) ID/IQ contract. The program will be managed by the Turbine Engine Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQT). The award follows the successful ground testing of an affordable turbojet designed for use in future low-cost cruise missiles and attritable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The design and test of the 200lb thrust-class turbojet engine was completed in under 18 months, demonstrating Kratos’ ability to meet the needs of today’s warfighter. Testing included characterization of the engine from ignition to overspeed conditions, characterization of engine performance including thrust, fuel efficiency and electrical power output, and engine durability. Testing was performed at the recently commissioned Kratos engine-test facility in Indiantown, Florida.

The objective of the awarded task order is to complete the engine development for flight testing and to demonstrate the targeted life low-cost engine architecture. Work will be performed by KTT in Florida.

 

AeroFranz

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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that Kratos’ Turbine Technologies Division (KTT) has been awarded a $12.7 million task order under its Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission (ATTAM) ID/IQ contract. The program will be managed by the Turbine Engine Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQT). The award follows the successful ground testing of an affordable turbojet designed for use in future low-cost cruise missiles and attritable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The design and test of the 200lb thrust-class turbojet engine was completed in under 18 months, demonstrating Kratos’ ability to meet the needs of today’s warfighter. Testing included characterization of the engine from ignition to overspeed conditions, characterization of engine performance including thrust, fuel efficiency and electrical power output, and engine durability. Testing was performed at the recently commissioned Kratos engine-test facility in Indiantown, Florida.

The objective of the awarded task order is to complete the engine development for flight testing and to demonstrate the targeted life low-cost engine architecture. Work will be performed by KTT in Florida.

This is the engine on NG's Gray Wolf, and possibly Gremlins (not sure about the latter)
 

marauder2048

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This is the engine on NG's Gray Wolf, and possibly Gremlins (not sure about the latter)
Since they didn't mention this engine having been flight tested I'm guessing this isn't the TDI-J85 but
something from the other small turbojet manufacturer (FTT) that Kratos acquired.
 

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