In the United States, the development of a new unmanned aerial vehicle XQ-58A Valkyrie, the adoption of which can completely change the tactics and rules of air combat, is coming to the finish line. The creation of the UAV is engaged in the company Kratos, specializing in the development of air targets.
What is the "Valkyrie"
The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a reusable drone that will be paired with fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 fighters. The length of the aircraft is 9.14 m, and the span of its wing is 8.23 m. The Valkyrie’s combat load is 272 kg, and the armament can be placed both on the wing pylons and inside a special compartment. The drone will be controlled from the nearest aircraft.
Earlier it was reported that Kratos is working on a jet UAV with an altitude of up to 45 thousand feet. The head of the company said that the US military was ready to purchase up to 100 such vehicles.
Test "Valkyrie" will begin this fall. It is believed that the United States in the future plans to partly replace expensive manned combat aircraft with similar UAVs.
The XQ-58A Valkyrie is not a full-fledged fighter, it is more suitable for the destruction of the latest air defense systems, such as the Russian C-400 and C-500. It is planned that the Valkyries, each of which is capable of carrying two planning bombs, will be at the forefront of the attacking orders and take on the first strike of the air defense. Their main target will be enemy radar, anti-aircraft missile launchers, air defense command posts. In this case, the losses of relatively cheap drones may not be taken into account at all - where it is better to sacrifice a small UAV than to lose an expensive fighter or bomber with the crew.