The Kratos UTAP-22, formed from the BQM-167A aerial target, is being developed as a swarm UAV for the USAF.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from official Kratos marketing material.
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'.
March 2019 - Kratos is expecting a first-flight of its Mako drone product for sometime in the second quarter of 2019.
[ 2 Units ] : Kratos Unmanned Systems Division - USA
Untied States (possible)
- Ground Attack
20.11 ft (6.13 m)
10.50 ft (3.2 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Kratos UTAP-22 production model)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Kratos UTAP-22 production model)
1 x Turbojet engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Kratos UTAP-22 production model)
699 mph (1,125 kph; 607 kts)
50,033 feet (15,250 m; 9.48 miles)
1,616 miles (2,600 km; 1,404 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Kratos UTAP-22 production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
Up to 550lb of external and internal precision drop-ordnance (guided bombs). This includes up to 100lb under each wing element and an internal hold supporting up to 350lb.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Kratos UTAP-22 production model)
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