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Successful AttritableONE (Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie) Return to Flight Test Enables Formation Flight with F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning Fifth-Generation Fighters

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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.
·5 min read
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Manned/Unmanned Teaming

F-22, F-35, and XQ-58A in Formation
F-22, F-35, and XQ-58A in Formation
F-22, F-35, and XQ-58A in Formation

XQ-58A Valkyrie RATO Launch

Valkyrie Launching to Join the Multi-Ship Test Event with the 5th Generation Fighters
Valkyrie Launching to Join the Multi-Ship Test Event with the 5th Generation Fighters
Valkyrie Launching to Join the Multi-Ship Test Event with the 5th Generation Fighters

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider and industry-leading provider of high-performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial systems, announced today that the Kratos Valkyrie UAS AttritableONE flight test enabling the F-22 and F-35 5th generation fighters to fly in formation together was successfully completed last week at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The test was led by an integrated Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) acquisition team comprised of Air Force Research Laboratory and Air Force Life Cycle Management Center personnel working in conjunction with Eglin Air Force Base’s 46th Test Squadron.

During the test event, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning fighters, formed up off the wings of the smaller Valkyrie as it continued to fly autonomously. This is a major milestone in the service’s efforts to provide low cost force multipliers in relevant operational environments.

“The experiments [last week] represent what can be accomplished with the collaboration of industry, the Test Center, the acquisition community and AFRL,” said Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, AFRL commander. “This was just a first step at demonstrating the potential of the force multiplier effects of attritable aircraft in a manned/unmanned environment.”

“As the ABMS AttritableONE Product Lead and XQ-58 Valkyrie AFRL Program Manager, I’m proud of the partnership with AFLCMC, the Air Force Test Center, and our Air Force Acquisition and industry partners and the team’s ability to go from concept to demonstration in six months,” said, AFRL XQ-58A Program Manager, Michael Wipperman. “This was the fifth successful launch and flight of the Valkyrie, but the first time the platform has flown in formation with an F-22 and F-35.”

Wipperman added, “The XQ-58A modularity and ability to carry robust payloads enabled the rapid capability integration into an attritable experimentation vehicle. We’re thrilled with the seamless integration and demonstration of this flight. We look forward to continued capability enhancement at future demonstrations.”

Developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and AFRL as part of the latter’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, the XQ-58A is designed to be a runway-independent, re-usable unmanned air vehicle capable of a broad range of operational missions. The XQ-58A was developed through low cost procurement and is designed to be significantly less expensive to operate than traditional piloted or unpiloted vehicles, while capable of achieving the same critical missions. Taking only two and a half years from contract award to first flight, it is the first example of a class of unmanned air vehicles developed through this time-saving process, which seeks to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft.

Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “Kratos is extremely proud of the roles our XQ-58A Valkyrie and personnel are playing in enabling and demonstrating this key ABMS capability while aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of the exquisite 5th generation fighter systems. We are committed to development and realization of affordable defense technologies making today particularly exciting for us with this substantial achievement.”

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. At Kratos, affordability is a technology, and we specialize in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training, combat systems and next generation turbo jet and turbo fan engine development. For more information, please visit www.KratosDefense.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 29, 2019, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos.

Press Contact:
Yolanda White
858-812-7302 Direct

Investor Information:
877-934-4687
investor@kratosdefense.com


Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c70db0c5-4bfb-4a49-85c5-3aea19868d3c

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d17ed9dc-d660-49c3-955e-6e317c6fb8c7