The XQ-67A autonomous aircraft makes its first flight

The General Atomics company is known for its MQ-1C, its MQ-9 drone or for having developed the world's first family of unmanned collaborative aircraft. And now it arrives with a new member of its line of autonomous ships: the XQ-67A, which made its first flight a few days ago.

Unfortunately, the OBSS program, which stands for External Sensing Station, is classified, so information about this drone is very limited. Its specific capabilities or the intended use of it by the Air Force are unknown.

What is known is that it has been designed for high altitude and long range missions. It has a delta wing design, a single engine and internal compartments to accommodate equipment or weapons. The XQ-67A is also equipped with a variety of target acquisition capabilities, including radar, electro-optical/infrared and electronic warfare systems.

The drone is a “spin-off” of the Gambit aircraft series that General Atomics proposes for the Air Force program to build robotic pilotscalled collaborative combat aircraft or CCA.

The first flight was carried out at the company's operations facilities in California, at the same time that experiments were continuing with the XQ-58 Valkyrie drone, another ship that shares the objective of developing future drones that operate side by side with manned aircrafts.

“Following the success of the XQ-58A Valkyrie, the first low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle intended to provide the warfighter with credible and affordable massthe XQ-67A demonstrates the common chassis or “genre” approach to aircraft design, construction and testing,” the General Atomics statement said.