Marine Corps Valkyrie completes first flight

  • Published

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Marine Corps XQ-58A Valkyrie, a highly autonomous, low-cost tactical unmanned air vehicle successfully completed its first test flight here Oct 3.

The Marine Corps partnered with the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division to facilitate the ongoing research, development, test and evaluation of the aircraft.

This joint-collaboration with the 40th Flight Test Squadron marks a key milestone in the Marine Corps’ Penetrating Affordable Autonomous Collaborative Killer – Portfolio program. Future test flights inform XQ-58A Valkyrie requirements for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Unmanned Aerial System Expeditionary Tactical Aircraft.

“This XQ-58A test flight and the data collected today not only help to inform future requirements for the Marine Corps,” said Scott Bey, an OUSD prototyping and experimentation portfolio manager. “It fuels continued joint innovation and experimentation opportunities and demonstrates the agility that can be achieved through partnership.”

The aircraft performed as expected. The XQ-58A has six planned test flights with objectives including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; autonomous electronic support to crewed platforms; AI augmenting combat air patrols; and maturing other manned-unmanned teaming capability objectives.

The Marine Corps received the first of two XQ-58A unmanned aerial systems in March to support platform prototyping and integration efforts for the PAACK-P program.

“The Marine Corps constantly seeks to modernize and enhance its capabilities in a rapidly evolving security environment,” said Lt. Col. Donald Kelly, Marine Corps Aviation Cunningham Group and Advanced Development Team. “Testing the XQ-58 Valkyrie determines requirements for a highly autonomous, low-cost tactical UAS that compliments the need for agile, expeditionary and lethal capabilities in support of both the Marine Corps’ stand-in force operations in austere environments and the joint force.”