Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said its jet-powered unmanned UTAP-22 aircraft successfully made its third demonstration flight on Dec. 11 at the U.S. Navy’s test range at China Lake.
The demonstration involved two of the unmanned aircraft flying in formation, and included some autonomous flight as well as semi-autonomous payload deployment. A single operator controlled multiple aircraft during the test, Kratos said in a statement.
UTAP stands for Unmanned Tactical Aerial Platform. It is an aircraft meant to go into a fight and survive. In its Dec. 21 news release, Kratos (Nasdaq: KTOS) CEO Eric DeMarco said the company made a “significant discretionary investment” in the UTAP-22.
The president of Kratos’ Unmanned Systems Division, Jerry Beaman, spoke of the aircraft’s potential to act as an “unmanned wingman” to a manned aircraft. Beaman is a retired Navy vice admiral whose last military assignment was commander of the 3rd Fleet, which is based in San Diego.
Kratos has its corporate office in San Diego’s University Towne Center neighborhood.