The order book now stands at 6 platforms.
The first flight of the "Loyal Wingman" at the beginning of the month was a real success, according to the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, to which the Swiss company Ruag belongs. So much so that the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) has just ordered three more for $115 million, in addition to the first three. The first flight of the second prototype should take place this year, and Boeing hopes to penetrate the huge American market with this new generation aircraft.
This UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) measures 11.5 meters with a 7-meter wingspan. With its stealthy design and radar-absorbing materials, it has a range of 3,700 kilometers, compared with 1,500 kilometers for the Australian F-35 it will support. Its mission system is open, so it can be quickly reconfigured as needed. Initially designed for fighter missions, in support of combat aircraft or missions (tankers, AWACS, etc.), it can also evolve towards ISR functions.
Success for Australia
Boeing is delighted with this success, because this first flight and the new Australian order opens the door to the LCASD (Low-Cost Attritable Strike Unmanned Aerial System Demonstration) market for the XQ-58A Valkyrie from Kratos. This program aims to provide the US Air Force with low-cost combat drones for its fighters. Australia is proud to have the Loyal Wingman as its first homegrown fighter in over 50 years. The acquisition of this innovative technology will propel the RAAF into new air capabilities.
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