USAF, Royal Australian Air Force Partner With Industry for Unmanned Aircraft Dev’t

The U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force have teamed up with industry partners to build unmanned aerial systems that will work to accompany manned aircraft units, National Defense reported Friday.

USAF has tapped Kratos Defense and Security Solutions to develop the XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator system, a long-range aircraft that will operate to perform tactical unmanned aerial missions.

The RAAF has partnered with Boeing’s Australia segment to conduct research and development efforts for the Airpower Teaming System, a 38-foot aircraft designed to travel more than 2K nautical miles.

Kratos eyes the integration of various mission platforms into the Valkyrie, while Boeing intends to equip the ATS with artificial intelligence features.

The Valkyrie is slated to provide a communications link between an F-22 Raptor unit and an F-35 fighter in a flight demonstration by the Department of Defense. Kratos has also started production efforts for 12 aircraft units ahead of an anticipated contract award from the Air Force.

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