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Kratos Claims New 'Secret' UAV Entering Production

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posted on Aug, 8 2017 @ 06:15 PM
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A secret unmanned air vehicle (UAV) from Kratos Defense and Security Solutions is expected to move into production by the end of this business quarter, Kratos’ chief executive says on 8 August.

Kratos first tipped off the existence of the confidential programme earlier this spring, after confirming to FlightGlobal that the company had successfully completed several demonstration flights with the new jet-powered, high-subsonic (UAV).

Kratos has not revealed the identity of the UAV's government agency customer.

During a presentation at the Jefferies 2017 Investor Conference, Kratos CEO Eric DeMarco told investors revenue from the secret programme will help double the company’s UAV business over the next year.

The UAV is designed for an anti-access area denied environment and its altitude performance ranges up to 45,000ft, DeMarco says. Kratos has not disclosed the aircraft’s g-force tolerance, stealth profile or range, but says the jet can perform sustained-g turns and weaves. Like other Kratos UAVs, the new aircraft is launched on a railed catapult and recovered by deploying a parachute and floating to the ground.


www.flightglobal.com...

Rail launch means probably not very big, but still...a secret UAV. or it was.




posted on Aug, 8 2017 @ 11:49 PM
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Why do I imagine KRATOS employees all wearing matching jumpsuits? Why are all of them so poor at marksmanship?



posted on Aug, 9 2017 @ 06:57 AM
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posted on Aug, 11 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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So if its rail launched then it wont be the XQ-222 Valkyrie or UTAP-22 Mako. Which incidentally both these systems have suddenly disappeared from the Kratos website. I was able to eventually find a Kratos PDF giving the characteristics of the Mako but nothing else, at least not from Kratos. In any case these two systems are meant to be wingmen partners to F-35/F-22 and possibly some legacy 4th Gens like SH with very large range in the order of 1400-1500nm radius, so unlikely this rail launched secret UAV is able to achieve that given it would need to be compact with a corresponding small fuel load to be practically rail launched from (presumably?) a forward operating location. Sounds more like it is destined for SF or CIA customers.

EDIT: Update. Actually I am wrong, turns out the UTAP-22 IS capable and designed for rail launch, possibly the XQ-222 is also then? Interesting as I wouldn't have thought that practical. You learn something every day.
Kratos UTAP-22 Specs
edit on 11-8-2017 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2017 @ 08:16 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

They were originally looking at new target drones, possibly for fifth gen aircraft. Without a DC-130 or something similar, you don't want to put the complexity needed for runway launch of something that probably won't come back.



posted on Aug, 12 2017 @ 05:32 AM
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if they made them say half the size of a Sidewinder then something the F22 or F35 could house them in internal bays for sneaky Top Gun tactics.



posted on Jan, 8 2018 @ 02:56 PM
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www.flightglobal.com...

$23 million for the initial run. More later, possibly, probably.



posted on Jan, 8 2018 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: anzha

The description sounds like a target system, but the classification sounds operational. That almost sounds like the return of the DC-130s.



posted on Jan, 8 2018 @ 05:10 PM
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Capable of high G,s...Targets or operational decoys..?



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 04:05 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Considering the size of the production run at 23 Million.... how many do you think they might get out of it?

Your definitely right Zaph, it does sound oddly familiar, and they might already have a new home soon on a DC-130.

Could they be used as a persistent ISR / Active EW system for tactical engagements to determine the extent of a foreign forces defense capabilities before a strike?



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

This is either a limited run threat simulator, or an evaluation program. They won't get many yet, but after a few years they'll probably get a bigger contract for more.



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 08:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

An interesting aircraft/airframe for an evaluation program.... especially considering the potential uses as a true first strike platform.

Could fly in heavily S2A, A2A defended area's, able to strike an area (as a suicide drone), and give an idea where the holes are within an airspace, without sacrificing personnel and or significantly more expensive aircraft/weapon systems.
edit on 10-1-2018 by BoutThere because: +



posted on Jan, 10 2018 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

Personally I'm thinking AShM simulator for the Navy.



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


For system performance and detection capacity for AEGIS?

So there hoping to fully test the onboard defense, tracking and engagement systems against an opposition that would be characteristically similar to other nations offensive weapons?



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: BoutThere

Yep. They tried to buy a few supersonic telemetry missiles from Russia years ago, but the deal fell through. So instead of trying something like that, they're more likely trying to develop something cheap, with similar performance, and will run it against Aegis, the SM-2/3/6, CIWS, etc. And see how the defenses do against it.



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Will these be launched by ship, land, or by air?, based on the size, I'd say the first two, but I could see two to three strapped to a B-52 relatively easily and remotely launched.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is a start to further develop fire and forget drones, as they most likely have a rudimentary neural network/fuzzy logic system that can be established within the flight control software/hardware to act as stepped level aggressor depending on how the defense systems are reacting to its approach.



posted on Jan, 11 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: BoutThere

Depends entirely on the customer. If I'm right and it's for the Navy, they'll be launched from shore, probably a catapult type launcher system like the Firebee uses.




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