Kratos target drones put advanced air-to-air missiles through their paces

Unmanned target drone designers at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. in Sacramento, Calif., will provide the U.S. Air Force with 21 BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (AFSAT) drones under terms of an $18.7 million contract modification.

Apr 19th, 2016

Unmanned target drone designers at Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. in Sacramento, Calif., will provide the U.S. Air Force with 21 BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (AFSAT) drones under terms of an $18.7 million contract modification. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are asking Composite Engineering for AFSAT Lots 11-13 production. The BQM-167A AFSAT is a high-performance, remotely controlled subscale aerial target drone that helps prove the value of advanced air-to-air weapons. Air Force weapons experts use the AFSAT target drone to support the Air-to-Air Weapon System Evaluation Program and other Air Force and U.S. Department of Defense air-to-air test and evaluation programs. Composite Engineering builds the BQM-167A of carbon fiber and epoxy-based materials that help increase performance and endurance compared to previous targets, which were built mainly of aluminum, Air Force officials say. The BQM-167A can reach speeds from 230 to 600 knots true airspeed at sea level with a maximum speed of 0.92 Mach. The drone can fly at altitudes from 50 feet above ground level to 50,000 feet mean sea level. Maneuvers include G-turns to 9Gs, and other aerial acrobatic turns that emulate high-performance jet fighter aircraft.

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