Kratos Defense and Security Solutions and General Atomics have received contract option awards from the U.S. Air Force to continue developing their unmanned aerial vehicle candidates for the Skyborg Vanguard program.
The contract options fund the integration of the Autonomous Core System into the Kratos XQ-58A and General Atomics MQ-20 aircraft and performance of more operational experimentation, the Air Force said Monday.
The two candidates will participate in the upcoming fall operational exercise and other large force test events to prove their manned-unmanned teaming capabilities and provide data for the Air Force’s Fighters and Advanced Aircraft program office.
“These contract actions, while tactical in nature, are strategically important to this Vanguard as we continue to discover and learn how we will employ this advance technology in the fight,” said Brig. Gen. Dale White, program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft.
“We’ll be ready [to transition Skyborg to a program of record] in 2023 as the Air Force prepares its FY23 President’s Budget submission early next year,” he added.
Kratos received $13.2 million while General Atomics was awarded $7 million in contract options. The companies first won the Skyborg development contracts in December 2020.