Kratos Opens New Facility in Oklahoma to Cater to the Increased Demand for Unmanned Aerial Drones

The Unmanned Systems Division of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is opening a new facility in Oklahoma City. This new facility will cater to the increase in demand for high performance, jet powered unmanned aerial tactical and target drone systems. Advanced military target drones with fighter-like performance has been Kratos's fortee.

According to a recent Aviation Week and Space Technology article entitled, "Kratos Expands Target Drone Business," which discusses, "Target Drones with Fighter Like Performance" this is Kratos' niche in the unmanned aircraft arena, and that more than 1,500 MQM-107 target aircrafts were produced. Their BQM-167, already in production with the USAF since the mid 2000's has now also been selected as the replacement for the MQM-107 and begins production for the U.S. Army this year.

The company sees the potential as even greater than for the heritage 107s with the increased capabilities the new BQM-167 offers. In addition, Kratos’ tactical UAS drone systems have generated significant interest and they plan to ramp up production at the new facility in Oklahoma.

Earlier this month Kratos announced a $23 million unmanned aerial drone system production order from an unnamed customer and a $93 million contract to supply target drones to the Army. This most recent contract makes Kratos the sole supplier of jet-powered, sub-scale target drones to all branches of the U.S. military. Kratos' unmanned target drones recently participated in Exercise Formidable Shield 2017, a live-fire integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) exercise conducted by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO on behalf of U.S. 6th Fleet.

Kratos is also currently under contract to develop and demonstrate high performance tactical drone systems that act as a loyal wingman to manned fighter aircraft or can operate independently. The company's Mako tactical unmanned aerial drone system completed its initial successful test flights in 2015 and most recently participated in a major military exercise, with additional flights planned for this year. Kratos is scheduled to deliver its next generation tactical drone, the Valkyrie, in 2018.

Kratos will continue target drone production from its existing Sacramento facility, with a significant production ramp up having already begun at that facility, and expected to increase even more over the next 24 months. Oklahoma will be the site for new tactical drone production and excess demand requirements related to target drone production.

The company is currently occupying an 8,800 square foot facility in Oklahoma City, not far from Tinker AFB, where the initial focus will be on engineering and production planning. Within six months, the company plans to expand into a 75,000 square foot facility to support its initial production efforts in Oklahoma City. The company expects to employ more than 350 workers in Oklahoma within the next few years.

Kratos

  • Country: United States
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