F-35 v Valkyrie: Range, Payload, Cost and Survivability

F-35 v Valkyrie: Range, Payload, Cost and Survivability
U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw

Relatively inexpensive unmanned systems have advantages which may put them on the front line when the USA squares up against China in the western Pacific.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 faces three major challenges that cannot be overcome by yet further investment. It is too complex to maintain high readiness rates, suffers from very short range and costs vastly more than the Kratos Defense & Security Solutions XQ-58A Valkyrie, an experimental unmanned air vehicle (UAV) that can carry out many of the F-35's tasks while being much more survivable in a modern conflict.

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