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Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222)

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)

United States | 2020

"The Kratos XQ-58 is being developed as an economical, high-speed swarm-minded UAV platform for the United States Air Force."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kratos XQ-58 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
1 x Turbojet / turbofan engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
652 mph
1,050 kph | 567 kts
Max Speed
44,997 ft
13,715 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
2,128 miles
3,425 km | 1,849 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Kratos XQ-58 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV).
28.9 ft
8.80 m
O/A Length
22.0 ft
(6.70 m)
O/A Width
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) .
Up to 550lb of external and internal precision-drop stores (guided bombs). This includes single underwing hardpoints and an internal bay.
Notable series variants as part of the Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222) family line.
XQ-58 "Valkyrie" - Base Series Designation
XQ-58A - Initial flyable prototype model.
XQ-222 - Original designation of 2017.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/16/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

When Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) finally matured as Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms over an active battlefield, thought turned to arming these systems - producing the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) subcategory. Now, with the maturity being experienced with UCAV designs, the concept of reusable / disposable "swarm" UAVs is beginning to take shape. Companies like Kratos have attempted to stay at the forefront of such an initiative, building upon their experiences in providing the United States military with high-performance unmanned aerial targets.

The XQ-58 (formerly designated as the "XQ-222") is under development by the company by way of a USAF contract for an economical unmanned aerial system capable of light strike through precision-guided munitions while working in conjunction with manned attack aircraft. The benefits of such a product are many but chiefly centered on low-cost / low project risk and ease of serial production. There is also the added benefit of not risking personnel over contested airspace should the drone be lost. It is envisioned that a fleet of these attack drones, in some cases accompanied by manned aircraft, will swarm target areas with bombs, overwhelming enemy defenses and strategic positions prior to the arrival of the main fighting force.

Based on an artist concept of the XQ-58, the aircraft carries an angled fuselage tapered at both ends. An intake sits atop the spine to aspirate the presumed turbojet engine installation within (the engine will most likely be an outsourced off-the-shelf powerplant). At the belly is an internal bomb bay and underwing hardpoints will also figure in. The tail unit is blended into the fuselage and sports outward-canted vertical fins - no horizontal tailplanes are featured. The wing mainplanes are swept back and positioned near midships.

The system is being designed with a maximum range of 3,000 miles and a war load of up to 500 lb. Max speed will be subsonic. The aircraft will not require the facilities of a prepared runaway - take-off is to be accomplished by way of rocket-assist and recovery by parachute. Because of Kratos' experience in developing military-grade target drones, which mimic enemy aircraft actions and reactions, the XQ-58 should benefit immensely in terms of capability when avoiding air defenses.

The XQ-58 is being developed from the ground up (clean-sheet design). Presented specs include an overall length of 29 feet and a wingspan of 22 feet. Listed maximum speed is Mach 0.85. Minimum altitude is 50 feet and maximum altitude is 45,000 feet.

Beyond its strike capabilities, it is possible that the XQ-58 will also be able to engage aerial targets in direct air-to-air combat given Kratos' past experience with drones.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

May 2017 - Kratos has officially named its XQ-222 vehicle the 'Valkyrie'.

January 2019 - The Kratos XQ-222 is now formally redesignated to XQ-58.

March 2019 - On March 5th, 2019, the Kratos XQ-58A successfully completed its first-flight over the Yuma Proving Ground of Arizona. The test, which lasted over one hour, is the first of five launches planned for the project. The air vehicle was rail-launched and recovered by way of parachute.

January 2020 - A fourth test involving the Kratos XQ-58A was recorded on January 23rd, 2020. In the event, the unmanned aircraft pushed its flight envelope further (higher altitude) and was successfully recovered in the after-action.

December 2020 - An F-22, F-35A, and XQ-58A drone have been conducting joint, in-air data-sharing exercises.

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Kratos Unmanned Systems Division - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (possible) ]
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Image of the Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222)
Image release from the United States Air Force; Public Domain.
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Image of the Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222)
Image from official Kratos marketing material.

Going Further...
The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie (XQ-222) Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) appears in the following collections:
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