General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has released images of a brand new, fully-constructed advanced air combat drone called the XQ-67A. The company built it as part of a contract to support the U.S. Air Force’s secretive Off-Board Sensing Station (OBSS) program.
The XQ-67A is a stealthy, high-performance drone that is designed for long-range, high-altitude missions. It features a delta-wing design, a single engine, and internal weapons bays. The drone is also equipped with a variety of sensors, including radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR), and signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems.
While an explicit connection has not been made, there have been indications in the past that this design leverages work the company is doing on Gambit, a novel family of advanced drones that involves different airframes that can be mated to a modular common ‘core’ chassis.
The XQ-67A has a pair of air data probes fitted to the nose and high-visibility orange markings on its wings and tail, which are all indicative of an aircraft bound for flight testing. The XQ-67A’s overall markings are very similar to those applied to the Air Force’s XQ-58As, as well as those now operated by the U.S. Marine Corps.
The release of the XQ-67A images is a significant development in the ongoing development of advanced air combat drones. The drone’s capabilities could have a major impact on the future of warfare, and it is likely to be closely watched by militaries around the world.
It is important to note that the OBSS program is classified, so there is limited information available about the XQ-67A’s specific capabilities or intended use. However, the release of these images suggests that the drone is nearing the flight testing phase, and it is likely that more information will be released in the coming months.