AFRL contracts Kratos for LCASD
Kratos will develop the technical baseline for a high-speed, long-range, low-cost, limited life-strike UAS under a $40.8 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) announced on 11 July.
The cost-share award will see Kratos receive $7.3 million in government funding, and invest up to $33.5 million in the design, development, delivery, demonstration and testing of the UAS technical baseline. This will include the identification of key enabling technologies for future low-cost attritable aircraft demonstrations, and the provision of a vehicle for future capability and technology demonstrations.
The work will be performed under the Low-Cost Attritable Strike Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Demonstration (LCASD) programme.
The LCASD system will be designed to be configurable to perform various missions, including nap-of-the-earth (NOE) flight, cruising at high altitudes, defensive counter air manoeuvres, offensive counter air manoeuvres, the suppression of enemy air defences and the destruction of enemy air defences. Additionally, the system will also incorporate performance capability including extreme agility for missile avoidance manoeuvres for improved survivability.
The UAS will have a 1,500 nautical mile mission radius with a 500lb payload, the ability to carry internally and deliver at least two GBU-39 small diameter bombs, will have runway independent take-off and landing capability, with an emphasis on commercial off-the-shelf technologies and open mission system architecture.
Jerry Beaman, president of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said: 'The LCASD programme is another important step in establishing Kratos in the growing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle marketplace, with survivable, high performance, mission flexible, tactical platforms designed to counter the potential adversaries of today, and the future.’
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
The duo believe combining cutting-edge tech with manufacturing prowess will help secure a leading position in the UGV market.
The three-week Digital Horizon exercise sought to further the USN’s USV and AI ambitions.
Turkish developer Baykar's best-selling TB2 has chalked up a 28th export customer, with more in the pipeline according to the company.
IAI is under contract with the US DoD to develop the hand-launched weapon.
The Israeli manufacturer will supply a multi-drone operating system for the country's Ministry of Defense.