The XQ-58A Valkyrie is the first example of a new class of high performance unmanned aircraft that can be rapidly built and used in large numbers, and will work in teams with manned aircraft. The XQ-58A on display flew the first flight tests for this aircraft type.
To respond to rising costs for manned fighters, the US Air Force directed the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop a high performance, low cost aircraft. Kratos UAS built the Valkyrie in partnership with AFRL.
Valkyrie did not use a runway. Instead, it launched with rocket assist from a launcher/transport trailer, and landed using parachutes and airbags to cushion its impact with the ground. The aircraft has an internal weapons bay for small munitions tested on later flights with other XQ-58A aircraft. The XQ-58A development took place under AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technologies initiative in 2019.
Speed: 652 mph
Range: 3,500 miles
Ceiling: 44,997 ft
Max weight: 6,000 lbs