Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (NASDAQ: KTOS) has completed testing of a new generation of propulsion systems for cruise missiles and drones. This move will give the company an opportunity to focus on becoming the most versatile weapon manufacturer in history.
Under a program called Kratos Turbine Technologies (KTT), Kratos Defense developed a lead engine. The purpose of this program is to develop small jet engines for cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. Multiple engines will be available to provide different thrusts and flights speeds: from subsonic and hypersonic.
The most powerful models will have a generator that can produce 50 kW, allowing the use of powerful radars and electronic warfare. The tests are carried out on Kratos’ most advanced product, the X-58 UAV.
KTT’s tasks are extremely difficult because it needs to combine conflicting requirements: low cost, small size, and optimum fuel efficiency. Considering that cruise missiles are disposable and UAVs have a much higher accident and loss rate than fighters, the engines must be able to support large-scale production, and if possible, the materials should contain a minimum amount of complex elements and rare earth metals.
Kratos claims that it has succeeded in completing the task, and the first of the new family of engines has reached the required performance. It should be noted that this is an engine of a new generation, originally designed for unmanned vehicles, and not a cheap, modified version of a civilian propulsion system.
Kratos’ own engine line is important for its future production of UAVs that are expected to be the backbone of US military power. The tests in this area are going well, and Kratos is poised to win the Pentagon competition. Meanwhile, it is assumed that large attack drones can also be stored in containers like conventional ammunition, that is, the company may be able to get a stable long-term order to maintain and update its stock. Kratos’ own engine could give it a competitive advantage in the race to win a historic contract.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (NASDAQ: KTOS) stock surged 8.39% to close at $29.60 on Tuesday, June, 29. The company has a current market value of 3.64 $billion.