Air Force wants its XQ-58A Valkyrie drone to help F-22s and F-35s talk to each other

An XQ-58 working as a stealthy data fusion and relay node would give America's two stealth fighters the ability to fight together like never before, writes Joseph Trevithick for TheDrive.com.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie completes its inaugural flight on March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.
The XQ-58A Valkyrie completes its inaugural flight on March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force hopes to begin tests involving a Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie stealthy unmanned aircraft acting as a data-fusion and relay gateway between its F-22 Raptors and F-35A Joint Strike Fighters early next year. This will follow a separate experiment to first demonstrate that the new data link, known presently as GatewayOne, can enable the two jets to share information without degrading their stealthy signatures, scheduled to occur next month, writes Joseph Trevithick for TheDrive.comContinue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

November 13, 2019 -XQ-58A Valkyrie, a long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle, completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. The Air Force Research Laboratory partnered with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems to develop the XQ-58A. The USAF wants to use the unmanned aircraft as a bridge between the disparate systems of the F-22 and F-35. The F-22 has a system which only shares information with other Raptors, while the F-35's stealth system prohibits the sharing of information with aircraft that don't have the same system. Enter the Valkyrie and the GatewayOne data link system, which if proves effective in a limited environment, the USAF plans to install it on an XQ-58A and test it this upcoming spring.

"From zero to 60 in four months, [the goal] is to design and integrate the gateway so we can have something to triangulate," Dunlap said on Nov. 7, 2019, according to Military.com. "For the first time, we want to be able to share data as we would like to in a relevant time and environment – and we want to operate in a highly contested environment – and ensure it gets [securely] from one place to the other."

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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