November 13, 2023
A new rendering of a tactical stealth drone has been unveiled.
Created by California-based Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, the rendering was released as part of its financial results and marks the first look at the drone.
Dubbed Thanatos, after the Greek mythological figure who was the personification of death, plans for the drone were first announced in 2019, though little is known about its capabilities and intended use.
While few details have been announced, stealth drones are typically intended for military operations. Designed for covert missions, the devices use a range of technologies to reduce detection from tools such as radar, infrared and visible light.
In the financial results Eric DeMarco, Kratos’ president and CEO, said the company is planning to invest in the tactical drone and satellite sectors in 2024, “in order to position the company for potentially even greater growth in 2025 and beyond.”
“We are in discussions with a customer and hope to be under contract next year related to certain other Kratos tactical drone systems, including Thanatos,” said DeMarco. “We are now in source selection on a significant new satellite opportunity with Kratos’ virtualized OpenSpace software system.”
According to DeMarco, the primary obstacle preventing deployment of its technology is the “obtaining, retaining, and related escalating cost of qualified individuals.”
The rendering shows the U.S. Air Force logo on the side of the drone, though it has not been confirmed whether the agency is the customer.
Kratos already has several projects underway with the U.S. military. The company received a $95 million contract to supply unmanned target systems to the Army in July, and the drone company provides its stealth drone, XQ-58 Valkyrie, to the United States Air Force.
The XQ-58A, an autonomous, low-cost tactical unmanned air vehicle intended for surveillance and reconnaissance purposes, completed its first test flight in October.
The XQ-58A has a total of six planned test flights to evaluate the drone’s ability to support intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, the effectiveness of autonomous electronic support to crewed platforms and the potential for AI-enabled platforms to augment combat air patrols.
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