An XQ-58A drone recently launched an ALTIUS-600 small drone from its weapons bay.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the Air Force Research Laboratory successfully completed the XQ-58A Valkyrie’s sixth flight test and first release from its internal weapons bay, March 26, 2021 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.
“This test, conducted in partnership with Kratos UAS and Area-I, demonstrated the ability to launch an ALTIUS-600 small, unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) from the internal weapons bay of the XQ-58A. Kratos, Area-I and AFRL designed and fabricated the SUAS carriage and developed software to enable release. After successful release of the SUAS, the XQ-58A completed additional test points to expand its demonstrated operating envelope.”
“This is the sixth flight of the Valkyrie and the first time the payload bay doors have been opened in flight,” said Alyson Turri, demonstration programme manager.
“In addition to this first SUAS separation demonstration, the XQ-58A flew higher and faster than previous flights.”
The XQ-58A Valkyrie is a high subsonic, long-range strike unmanned aerial vehicle being developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. You can read more about the XQ-58A uncrewed aircraft itself here.
The U.S. Air Force say that this test “further demonstrates the utility of affordable, high performance unmanned air vehicles”.