Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, based in San Diego, has recently unveiled a rendering of their highly anticipated drone, Thanatos. This reveal occurred during the company’s financial presentation, outlining future plans and goals. The drone landscape has rapidly evolved, with various nations, including Ukraine and Iran, showcasing the potential of drone warfare using low-cost and makeshift designs.
In the US, drones are becoming integral to military strategies, particularly as companions to advanced fighter jets under the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. Thanatos, named after the Greek figure representing death, has been in the public eye since 2019, but details have been scarce until now.
The released rendering depicts a stealthy design characteristic of modern drones. It features a tailless, shovel-nosed structure with specific design elements aimed at reducing radar detection and infrared visibility. The diamond-shaped wings suggest potential supersonic capabilities, although specifics regarding its weaponry remain undisclosed.
Notably, the presence of the US Air Force logo in the rendering hints at Kratos’ target market. The US Air Force is not only pursuing the NGAD initiative but also plans to acquire 1,000 unmanned aircraft as part of the Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) program. These drones are intended to complement fighter jets and potentially carry air-to-air missiles, perform electronic warfare tasks, or operate independently.
Kratos’ financial projections align with the Air Force’s schedule, indicating the start of drone development around 2025. Furthermore, the US Navy is also exploring advanced drones that can integrate and collaborate with other military branches, suggesting a potential fit for Thanatos within this context.
Overall, Thanatos represents a significant advancement in drone technology, aiming to support and enhance the capabilities of modern fighter jets while possibly operating independently or in coordination with other services.
Its role in future military strategies could encompass various tasks, from carrying armaments to electronic warfare, and potentially collaborating across different military branches. The unveiling of the rendering marks a critical step in Kratos’ progress toward meeting the evolving demands of modern warfare.