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Kratos Hints at Air Force Stealth UAV Contract...or so it Hopes

“Thanatos” Rendering Shown Off Ahead of Improving Financial Prospects

Government military contractor Kratos Defense & Security Solutions let slip a rendering of its stealthy Thanatos UAV along with its 3rd quarter financial results, saying that it hopes to be under contract for the platform by this time next year.

Unsurprisingly, most in the industry read between the lines to suspect that unnamed customer to be the US Air Force - sleuthing isn’t all that necessary given the niche market for a stealthy, slippery, and expensive UAV. Company president Eric DeMarco peeled back the curtain for investors just a tad, hinting at the problems encountered when aiming to bring the stealth drone to market: 

“Our primary operational challenge remains the obtaining, retaining, and related escalating cost of qualified individuals, including those willing and able to obtain a National Security clearance,” he said, adding that the company was also in the running for “a significant new satellite opportunity with Kratos’ virtualized OpenSpace software system.” 

The company won’t have an easy go of things, however. The Air Force Research Laboratory has been hard at work on the field of the long-expected “autonomous wingman” of sci-fi lore, the the USAF’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft drone program playing the field and paving the way for Kratos’ competitors to figure out the winning featureset for a future USAF stealth drone. DeMarco said the firm was up to the challenge, tossing out a fistful of soothing corporate aphorisms to investors thusly: 

“At Kratos, affordability is a technology, better is the enemy of good enough - ready to go today, and quantities have a quality all of its own, all of which are clearly being demonstrated geopolitically in multiple conflict areas.” If all goes well, though, Kratos would be sitting pretty, poised for growth through 2024 and beyond.



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