Kratos tests the XQ-58A Valkyrie jet drone’s cart-based takeoff system

Kratos tests the XQ-58A Valkyrie jet drone’s cart-based takeoff system
Kratos tests the XQ-58A Valkyrie jet drone’s cart-based takeoff system

The American company Kratos Defene & Security Solutionsspecialized in the development of defense and national security technology for global markets, has completed validation tests of the Kratos Trolley Launch System o KTLSthe second of three methods created for launching the jet drone Valkyrie XQ-58A. This system allows the aircraft to take off from traditional runways or straight roads without the need for rockets. RATO (Rocket Assisted Take-Off) or other acceleration assistance mechanisms.

The demonstration of the mechanism, fully financed by its manufacturer, took place at the beginning of the month at the shooting range Grand Skya facility located in the state of Dakota of the Norte where Kratos independently tests the United States Department of Defense (DoD) its large unmanned aerial systems and other collaborative combat platforms (Collaborative Combat Aircraft o CCA).

Low-cost, high-performance autonomous takeoff platform

Even though that him Kratos Trolley Launch System It does not have its own propulsion system, its design makes possible a completely autonomous takeoff using only the thrust generated by the jet engine. Valkyrie. During the launch sequence, the drone accelerates and rolls along the runway just as a conventional aircraft would do and, once the necessary speed is reached, it raises its nose and separates from the cart, progressively gaining height. When the XQ-58A has completely separated, the KTLS deploys a drag parachute and locks its wheels to stop in the corridor, while the aircraft continues its flight mission.

As Kratos explained, for years, the Valkyrie has operated using the method MOUSEwhich allows the system to operate from austere and unprepared locations, without traditional runways or support elements. The main advantage offered by the KTLS The advantage of this technique is that the aircraft’s payload and fuel load can be maximised and are not reduced by either the weight or storage volume required for conventional landing gear. The US firm also stressed that the cost of the unmanned aircraft is also not affected by the cost of the take-off and landing trolley, a key feature for “affordable mass deployment”.

Digital and physical engineering at the service of unmanned aviation

The development, production and validation of the characteristics of the Kratos Trolley Launch System The new developments have been made possible by the company’s more than three decades of experience in the field of autonomous take-off unmanned jet aircraft. For Kratos, the entire process, funded internally, “embodies intelligent conceptualization, rigorous digital and physical engineering capabilities, integration, testing and rapid, production-representative manufacturing, which allows us to offer a unique and highly effective system.”

According to the president of the brand’s Unmanned Systems Division, Steve Fendley“As Kratos has watched its adversaries both in preparation and in active conflict, while also seeing the budgetary impact of the Department of Defense on the Nation, the group has been challenged to solve today’s defense problems with real, achievable, near-term, affordable solutions.” Fendley explained that, for the company’s projects, “late development is abject failure, so this fact is continually used as a constraint on approach and as a driver to maintain the commitment to producing systems that deliver substantial effect, impact, and utility at a fraction of the cost throughout their full lifecycle.”

From the board of directors of the conglomerate, its president and director, Eric Of Marconoted that “the successful demonstration of the system KTLS “It is another recent example of Kratos listening to its customer community and investing its own funds, allowing it to quickly develop, test and deploy relevant, low-cost systems.” “The entire organization is focused on delivering real products and not rendered images, long wait times or presentations of Power Point“while working with government partners and customers to rebuild America’s industrial base and directly support the warfighter,” De Marco said.

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