Kratos has released the first rendering, seen at the top of this story, of the unmanned aircraft it is developing under the U.S. Air Force’s secretive Off-Board Sensing Station program, or OBSS. While details about the drone remain limited, we do know there is a heavy emphasis on scalability, modularity, and affordability, and that it will leverage advanced design and manufacturing concepts to help achieve these goals. There also may be hints as to what it may be intended to do thanks to recent remarks from one of the company’s executives.
Breaking Defense was the first to publish the artist’s conception of Kratos’ OBSS design yesterday, along with an interview with Steve Fendley, the President of the company’s Unmanned Systems Division. In October, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded Kratos a contract to build and flight test at least one OBSS prototype. General Atomics also received a functionally identical OBSS contract from AFRL, though the value of their deal was different.
After seeing the piece from Breaking Defense, The War Zone reached out to Kratos to see if any additional imagery or other information relating to the company’s OBSS design might now be releasable and was informed that there is not any.
From what we can see in the rendering, the drone has a stealthy design with a noticeable continuous chine-line that wraps around the fuselage, as well as a serrated top-mounted air inlet and shrouded engine exhaust. It has a simple swept wing and a broadly splayed v-tail. There are some similarities, especially in the rear two-thirds of the design, to Kratos’ XQ-58A Valkyrie drone, but the OBSS lacks the cranked wing of that design and its tail is differently configured.
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