Defense company Kratos has announced that it will show two low-cost combat drones at the Paris Air Show next week, offering an insight as to what military conflicts might look like in the foreseeable future – a manned combat jet leading dozens of 1,000 km/h lethally-armed unmanned companions.
The Kratos XQ-222 Valkyrie and UTAP-22 Mako drones offer fighter-like performance at between US$2 and $3 million apiece, compared with $100 million for each manned fighter. The Valkrie and Mako will initially function as wingmen to manned aircraft in combat, but they are the most likely key component of the first military unmanned combat swarms.
Kratos is a very large defense company headquartered in San Diego, California with expertise in satellite communications, cyber security and cyber warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense and combat systems, but the most visible product from the company has been it’s target drones.
Until recently, Kratos has been best known as a supplier of these unmanned, low cost military target drones that are used to test the efficacy of the US military’s far more costly offensive firepower. That’s one taking off below.