General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory provided a preview of their novel off-board sensing station as part of the service branch’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, Breaking Defense reported Friday.
The XQ-67A sensing drone underwent high-speed taxi tests in preparation for flight trials that were originally set for the first half of fiscal year 2024.
In February 2023, the company was awarded a contract to use its Gambit series of aircraft to develop an OBSS from an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The project is in line with the Air Force’s vision to deploy drones capable of serving as sensing stations and missile trucks, drawing enemy fire and conducting electronic attacks.
“Without getting into specifics, I can say that we are stepping through [the OBSS] program methodically and working closely with our government partners to hit all of the markers for the project and deliver on our promises,” GA-ASI spokesman C. Mark Brinkley commented. “We’re focused on speed to ramp, accelerated design processes, and bringing true capability to the fight.”