US Navy orders two Kratos Valkyrie loyal wingman drones for testing

U.S. Air Force photo

The US Navy placed an order for two Kratos Valkyrie loyal wingman drones to evaluate their potential applications.

The procurement, valued at $15.5 million, also includes undisclosed sensors and weapon systems, maintenance services, and flight test support. The potential of the Valkyrie will be evaluated as part of the “Penetrating Affordable Autonomous Collaborative Killer” program, one of the Navy’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) family of systems.

The XQ-58 Valkyrie stealth combat drone is already being tested by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. The first two drones were delivered to the 40th Flight Test Squadron stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in November 2022.  

The Valkyrie is planned to have an operating range of 1,500 nautical miles, a top speed of Mach 0.9, and carry a payload of 272 kilograms, providing fighter-like performances to its operators.

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