17.1.2020

A new competitor to the XQ-58A Valkyrie?

Sierra Technical unveils ‘faster’ and ‘more maneuverable’ stealth UAV – link

Source: Flight Global

Source: Sierra Technical 5GAT stealth target UAV

Article Headlines

  • Sierra Technical Services recently completed several ground tests, including an engine test run, on its Fifth Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) aircraft
  • The aircraft, which is powered by two General Electric J85 engines and is intended to be used as a stealth target drone for the US Air Force (USAF) to shoot down
  • The UAV should be ready for its first test flight during the first quarter of 2020
  • Because the 5GAT is inherently low-cost (estimated to be less than $10 million per production copy) and has a low-observable shape the company is also openly pitching it as an “attritable” Loyal Wingman stealth aircraft
  • Sierra Technical believes its 5GAT has abilities that would give it advantages over Kratos Defense’s XQ-58A Valkyrie: Faster and more maneuverable
  • The 5GAT can carry weapons on external pylons, though it doesn’t have provisions for an internal weapons bay, a capability that would require a substantial redesign

Overview & Comments

  • As written in the article the 5GAT is developed first and foremost as a stealth target drone
  • Pitching the UAS a an attritable loyal wingman is less relevant at this stage as the Valkyrie is well under way completing its 4th test flight, out of five planned, just recently
  • Another sensitive issue on the matter, as can be read in the original article, is Sierra’s active involvement in the Valkyrie program itself
  • Generally, the loyal wingman concept is a hot topic worldwide and includes foreign projects in Russia, Australia, China and the UK

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