State and community leaders joined Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. executives in Oklahoma City, Okla., to unveil the first MQM-178 Firejet target drone aircraft produced at the new Kratos Unmanned Aircraft production facility.
At the event, Kratos Defense CEO, Eric DeMarco, announced that the Oklahoma City production facility will also be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie, which successfully completed its maiden flight in March.
“Kratos is excited to announce that Oklahoma will be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie. Kratos and the state of Oklahoma share a commitment to supporting our armed forces, “Eric DeMarco, CEO of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., said. “As our company continues to grow and develop and build high-performance, low-cost technologies like the Firejet and the Valkyrie, we are proud to be doing so here. Oklahoma’s skilled workforce will help us keep America safe.”
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. is an industry leader in the rapid development, demonstration, and fielding of technology leading systems and products for National Security at an affordable cost. With primary customers including the United States Air Force, Navy, and Army, as well as foreign ally militaries, the Kratos Unmanned Systems Division opened this new production facility in November 2018 to accommodate the existing and increasing demand for its newest line of high performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial tactical systems. Additionally, Kratos is currently under contract on multiple high-performance unmanned aerial target systems.
“As demand for Kratos’ target and tactical unmanned aerial systems continues to increase, so too does our need for additional and parallel production capacity. The Oklahoma facility provides us the added bandwidth necessary for sustained growth, and with the Firejet now in production here, achieves a key and exciting milestone, “said Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division. “The Kratos team is grateful for the incredible support from the Oklahoma leaders and community that made this goal a reality in record time.”
The Kratos Unmanned Aircraft production facility in Oklahoma City is home to production of Kratos’ Tactical UAS and MQM-178 Firejet unmanned aerial target systems. The XQ-58A Valkyrie, a runway independent UAV capable of long-range flights at high-subsonic speeds developed in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will also be produced at the facility. Kratos expects to employ more than 350 employees in Oklahoma in the high-skilled engineering, design, and manufacturing fields to support the production contracts for these aircraft.
“High-tech innovations like the Firejet and the Valkyrie need a high-tech workforce,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5). “Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District is the ideal home for Kratos’ expanding unmanned aerial systems production, and we are proud to partner with Kratos as the company continues to grow.”
“Oklahoma is proud to be home to a growing list of aerospace companies, who are continuing to bring high-skilled jobs to our highly patriotic and educated workforce,” said Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Kratos is a critical to our growth, and we are grateful that Kratos continues to invest in the Sooner State.”