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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems makes first flight of XQ-67A OBSS

Source: GA-ASI, Defence Industry Europe

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) flew the XQ-67A Off-Board Sensing Station (OBSS) for the first time on February 28, 2024. OBSS is an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) program and GA-ASI was selected in 2021 to design, build and fly the new aircraft.

 

With flight of the AFRL-funded XQ-67A, GA-ASI has validated the “genus/species” concept first developed with AFRL as part of the Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Platform Sharing (LCAAPS) program focused on building several aircraft variants from a common core chassis.

 

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Under LCAAPS, AFRL and GA-ASI explored development of a chassis, termed a “genus”, as the foundational core architecture from which several “species” of aircraft can be built.

 

 

“This provides an alternative acquisition approach for military aircraft that enables faster development, lower costs and more opportunities for frequent technology refresh,” said Trenton White, OBSS Program Manager and aerospace engineer in AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate. “XQ-67A is the first “species” to be designed and built from this shared platform. Flight demonstration of this system is a major first step toward showing the ability to produce affordable combat mass.”

 

 

“OBSS is the first aircraft type built and flown using a common core chassis developed by GA-ASI that promotes commonality across multiple vehicle types,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Advanced Programs Michael Atwood.

 

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