Air Force Releases Video of New Combat Drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie

From: Mr. Man-wai Chang (toylet...)

Air Force Releases Video of New Combat Drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie
Full story with video:
<https://gizmodo.com/air-force-releases-video-of-new-combat-drone-the-xq-58-1833147533>;

The U.S. Air Force has released the first images of its latest combat
drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie. The new aircraft, which went from concept to
first test flight in 2.5 years, “behaved as expected” on its first test
flight this week, according to the Air Force.

The 76-minute inaugural flight occurred on March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving
Grounds in Arizona. The Air Force released a short 15-second video of
the first flight to show it off, something that the military doesn’t do
with all of its aircraft.

The drone was developed for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL)
Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) program which seeks to
develop new planes for the military both quickly and inexpensively.

“XQ-58A is the first example of a class of UAV that is defined by low
procurement and operating costs while providing game changing combat
capability,” Doug Szczublewski, AFRL’s XQ-58A Program Manager, said in a
statement.

The XQ-58A drone reportedly has a range of “well over” 2,000 miles and
can carry both precision-guided bombs and surveillance equipment.

As Tyler Rogoway at The Drive notes, the new drone is specially suited
to operate at the direction of manned planes nearby under a concept the
Air Force calls its “loyal wingman” program. Theoretically, a piloted
fighter jet could travel alongside a number of these unpiloted
Valkyries, which would assist by doing everything from jamming enemy
radar to firing on a target.

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