Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS) has received U.S. State Department approval to market its Mako High Performance Jet Tactical Unmanned Aerial System to certain European and Asia Pacific region countries.
The XQ-222 Valkyrie and UTAP-22 Mako are relatively cheap drones that could double as a fighter pilot’s expendable wingmen in future wars.
The Mako is a highly maneuverable unmanned aircraft, capable of carrying and operating weapons and advanced sensor systems, which has flown in multiple large-scale military exercises and could soon be put into production for combat use.
Kratos UAVs are being built to fly just under the speed of sound — nearly 700 miles per hour for the Mako and about 50 mph slower for the Valkyrie — and mimic the capabilities of jets like the Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II.
With a length of 30 feet, the Valkyrie boasts a big bomb bay, the ability to climb twice as high in the sky as the Predator and a fuel range of nearly 3,500 miles.
The UTAP-22 has an operational ceiling of 50,000 feet and a top speed exceeding .9 Mach. It uses a minimal footprint rocket assisted launch and precision parachute recovery; the Kratos UTAP-22 solution can operate in austere locations without a runway.
The versatile design of the Kratos UTAP-22 supports various mission requirements by accepting a wide array of internal and external payloads. The large, configurable auxiliary bays provide up to 8.5 cubic feet of payload volume.
The Valkyrie and the Mako will retail between $2 million to $3 million each. They’re cheap enough to be used in swarms orchestrated by the pilot of a regular fighter.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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