Military Factory logo

Kratos UTAP-22 Mako - United States, 2018

Detailing the development and operational history of the Kratos UTAP-22 Mako Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).

 Entry last updated on 5/9/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Kratos UTAP-22 Mako  
Picture of Kratos UTAP-22 Mako

The Kratos UTAP-22, formed from the BQM-167A aerial target, is being developed as a swarm UAV for the USAF.

Kratos Unmanned Systems Division is working with the United States Air Force to perfect a "swarm" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based on the company's BQM-167A aerial drone. The BQM-167A is described as a high-performance, remotely-piloted aerial target designed to mimic the capabilities of modern enemy aircraft for fighter pilots-in-training. The product is manufactured by Composite Engineering, Incorporated (since acquired by Kratos) from carbon fibers. Take-off is accomplished by rocket-assist and recovery is by parachute so the air vehicle does not require the facilities of a prepared runway (and the costs involved with it). The resulting aircraft is designated UTAP-22 ("Unmanned Tactical Aerial Platform-22").

As designed, the system is seen as a swarm UAV to be used in limited conjunction with manned aircraft, overwhelming target areas through sheer numbers while striking with precision-guided munitions (held externally and internally). The drones are high-speed, high-performance units and come at a lower per-unit cost when compared to manned strike platforms. As such, the drones can be made in greater numbers and expended during a mission if need be and there is a reduced risk to pilots engaging over contested airspaces.

The UTAP-22 was showcased in a swarm demonstration over China Lake in late-2015 as a McDonnell Douglas AV-8B "Harrier" jump jet was used in the lead. Plans are underway to feature a broader exhibition of this swarm concept.

The UTAP-22 is designed with an underslung engine installation, slightly swept-back wing mainplanes and a traditional single-finned tail unit. The fuselage is missile-like, borrowing much from the original BQM-167A in terms of its shape. The war load will reach 550lb of externally- and internally-held munitions - up to 100lb under each wing and 350lb in a bomb bay. Listed performance specs include a maximum speed of 1,125 kmh, a service ceiling of 15,250 meters, and a range out to 2,600 kilometers. The airframe measures a length of 6.13 meters and the wingspan is 3.2 meters.

May 2017 - Kratos has officially named its UTAP-22 vehicle the 'Mako'.

Kratos UTAP-22 Specifications

Service Year: 2018
Type: Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Kratos Unmanned Systems Division - USA
Total Production: 2

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 0
Overall Width: 10.50 feet (3.20 meters)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 1 x Turbojet engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.

Maximum Speed: 607 knots (699 mph; 1,125 kph)
Maximum Range: 1,404 nautical miles (1,616 miles; 2,600 km)
Service Ceiling: 50,033 feet (15,250 meters; 9.48 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

Up to 550lb of external and internal precision drop-ordnance. This includes up to 100lb under each wing element and an internal hold supporting up to 350lb.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Untied States (possible)

Model Variants

UTAP-22 - Base Series Designation

Images Gallery