Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Very quiet and mysterious: what is known about the new US drone XRQ-73

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun27,2024

Very quiet and mysterious: what is known about the new US drone XRQ-73

The US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed the XRQ-73 flying wing drone. The UAV will undergo flight tests this year, reports Interesting Engineering.

The drone will be used for urgent operational needs. DARPA did not clarify what this wording means, but the designation “RQ” suggests that it is intended for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

The XRQ-73 is based on a secret, ultra-quiet and highly effective the DARPA XRQ-72A drone as part of the Series Hybrid Electric Propulsion AiRcraft Demonstration (SHEPARD) program. DARPA has not released a photo of it, but has posted a rendering that suggests the UAV has a tailless flying wing design. You can also see the air intakes in the front part of the fuselage, framing the central fairing of the nose.

The device, most likely, will receive a hybrid electric power plant. Its technical characteristics are not revealed. Such devices consist of fuel-powered motors and batteries that allow for silent all-electric operation.

The predecessor of the XRQ-73, the XRQ-72A, was designed for surveillance in hard-to-reach areas with an emphasis on stealth and silence. The goal was to create an unmanned aerial vehicle capable of continuous long-range operation with a significantly reduced acoustic and infrared signature.

According to Steve Komadin, SHEPARD manager, the program is developing a special power plant architecture that allows for increased power, to give the US military an intelligence and intelligence advantage. The SHEPARD team includes representatives from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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