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Kratos' upgraded UTAP-22 Mako UAS completes flight test series

World Aviation Defense & Security Industry News - Kratos
Kratos' upgraded UTAP-22 Mako UAS completes flight test series
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider recently completed a flight test series evaluating the next evolution of the UTAP-22 Mako Unmanned Aerial System that was first introduced and demonstrated in late 2015.
Kratos upgraded UTAP 22 Mako UAS completes flight test serie 640 001The UTAP-22 UCAV during a previous flight demo
(Credit: Kratos)
The Mako has been enhanced with a suite of mission systems typically employed on manned aircraft and now integrated with the unmanned Mako drone system. By combining the Mako's autonomous capabilities previously demonstrated through single UAS, multi-UAS, and manned/unmanned collaborative operations with the latest mission set capability, the operational utility of the Mako is now established at the next level.

The Kratos UTAP-22 is a high performance unmanned jet aircraft designed specifically for tactical missions and tactical payload operations/delivery with key features focused on survivability in challenging and hostile environments. The results from this demonstration flight series validated the concept and technical readiness of Kratos' tactical UAVs with fighter like performance operating collaboratively with each other and collaboratively with manned aircraft. The Kratos technology is scalable, enabling multiple unmanned aircraft and manned aircraft to be deployed simultaneously without requiring an operator for each unmanned aircraft.

Kratos' UTAP-22 took the skies in 2015. The flight test campaign i.e. consisted of collaborative airborne operations with a manned fighter aircraft, an AV-8B Harrier; command and control through the tactical data link; execution of semi-autonomous tasks; execution of autonomous flight in formation with the AV-8B; transfer of UTAP-22 control between non-line-of-sight (over the horizon) operators in the tactical network; and transfer of control (handoff) from the tactical network to an independent dedicated control link.

Its third flight test, in Dec. 2015, demonstrated two UTAP-22 aircraft in continuous collaborative airborne operations through the tactical datalink while flying formation with one another, flying formation with a third UTAP (simulated) as the lead aircraft, lead-follow in semi-autonomous/autonomous modes, lead-follow in manual/autonomous modes, and multiple autonomous joins from several pre-join scenarios.