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UTAP-22 Mako

Kratos invested in internally funded research, development and capital expenditures to build the UTAP-22 (Mako) UAS from 2012 to 2015, and demonstrated the capabilities of the UTAP-22 Mako in a flight demonstration in the fall of 2015. As a result, Kratos was awarded an initial $12.6 million prime contract from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (“DIUx”) for sensor integration and flight demonstration of the UTAP-22 Mako unmanned aerial system the following year. In 2015, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter helped launch the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), conceived as a way to establish relations between the Pentagon and Silicon Valley. He tasked the group with funding emerging technologies outside of Washington’s borders.

Under this effort, Kratos integrated certain sensors into the UTAP-22 Mako and participated in a large, complex flight exercise in 2017. After successfully achieving the Mako’s first concept flights at the end of 2015, in 2016 the company received a $12.6 million single-award contract to demonstrate certain payload integration and loyal wingman teaming with manned aircraft in a major military exercise. This contract is one of the largest recently awarded contracts by the DIUx.

The UTAP-22 Mako (Air Force) and XQ-222 Valkyrie (Navy) could potentially fly as artificially intelligent robotic wingmen for manned fighter aircraft like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), and their successors. The UTAP-22 Mako and XQ-222 Valkyrie AI drone aircraft will use their sensors and artificial intelligence to fly in formation with their manned squadron mates, but can also be controlled by a human pilot.

"In order to exploit the maneuverability of one of these aircraft you need to have the sensing ability of when to exploit it," said Dave Deptula, a former Air Force general and current dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power Studies, according to the Washington Post. This development is part of an effort by the US military to discern how robotics may be used in future conflicts, in which human-piloted craft like the F-35 Joint Strike fighter will likely be accompanied by unmanned systems, though it’s unlikely they’ll replace manned crafts.

With price tag between $2 and $3 million, the reusable drones are less expensive to deploy than manned craft, and could improve safety by taking enemy fire if sent ahead.

Based upon the proven success of the U.S. Air Force BQM-167A aerial target, the Kratos Unmanned Tactical Aerial Platform (UTAP-22) provides the warfighter with an affordable, unmanned tactical aircraft that is capable of fighter-like performance and collaborative operations with manned assets in contested environments.

The UTAP-22 has successfully flown independent and collaborative operations with a manned fighter aircraft, and is ready for sensor integration as well as deployed operations. Superior maneuverability and payload versatility are key features that make the UTAP-22 the ultimate wingman for high-performance manned/unmanned teaming operations in contested airspace.

Length 20.1 ft
Wingspan 10.5 ft
Max Speed 0.91 Mach
Min Altitude 20 ft
Max Altitude 50,000 ft
Max Range 1,400 NM

UTAP-22 Mako UTAP-22 Mako UTAP-22 Mako UTAP-22 Mako

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Page last modified: 05-10-2018 19:29:26 ZULU