WAHINGTON, (BM) – The prototype UAV XQ-58A Valkyrie, which should become the unmanned aerial pilot of the fifth-generation F-35 multi-role fighter, was damaged during a test flight, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions announced that the prototype of its promising, inconspicuous UAV XQ-58A Valkyrie successfully completed its third test flight. However, Kratos’s statement was later refuted by the U.S. Air Force.
According to information published by the Pentagon, the Valkyrie unmanned aerial vehicle, landing at the Yuma test site in Arizona, was damaged. This was facilitated by a strong crosswind and a malfunction of a number of UAV systems.
During the 90-minute flight, the XQ-58A completed all the tasks that were set to pass the 56 control points, as well as two additional ones, remaining at the end of the mission with excess fuel. Having successfully completed the main test program, the UAV headed for the landing point. The parachute worked normally, but the peculiar airbags designed to land the unmanned vehicle did not work correctly, causing damage.
At the same time, the Pentagon said that this flight test brought a lot of benefits. It has been noted that a large amount of valuable data has been obtained, and that even lessons can be learned from failure.
“Ultimately, collecting information is the goal of any experiment, and we are pleased with the progress of the program” said Major General William Cooley, commander of the United States Air Force Research Laboratory.
It is alleged that the Valkyrie XQ-58A, like all Kratos unmanned aerial vehicles, is designed to be quickly repaired and reused if damage is caused during operational tasks. The device is determined to be fully repairable. The previously planned fourth Valkyrie flight will be delayed until the investigation of the circumstances of the incident is completed.
The Kratos XQ-58 Valkyrie is a stealth UAV (UCAV), designed and manufactured for the Low Cost Assault Mission Program (LCASD). The Valkyrie UAV made its first successful 5 flight on March 2019 at the Yuma Test Site, Arizona.
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