Thanatos Drone: A Glimpse into the Future of Advanced Stealth Technology

By: | November 14th, 2023

Artist’s rendering of the Thanatos Tactical aerial stealth drone (Image by Kratos )

Drones are becoming increasingly sophisticated and affordable, effective in various military roles. Apart from surveillance and reconnaissance purposes by military and intelligence agencies, drones are also used to conduct low-cost kamikaze attacks from a distance.

The United States is charting a distinct course in the realm of drone warfare

The U.S. military is developing a new drone that can fly over long distances, strike targets accurately, and also  return to base safely. They will be more lethal, as they will be able to carry more powerful weapons. These drones are expected to revolutionize warfare by providing more flexibility, efficiency, and survivability akin to advanced fighter jets, minus human pilots.

San Diego-based Kratos Defense and Security Solutions has unveiled its cutting-edge drone -Thanatos

Thanatos – named after a Greek mythological figure who is the personification of death, has been known to the public since 2019. This stealth drone is the most advanced design the company has unveiled to date.

What details have been revealed about Thanatos?

The revealed design features a typical stealth drone appearance, with distinctive characteristics such as a tailless bird shape, shovel nose design, and a platypus-like edge covering the exhaust. The drone incorporates features like a deep chine line, recessed inlets, and covered tail to reduce radar and infrared visibility. Its diamond-shaped wings indicate capabilities for high-speed supersonic travel.

The US Air Force plans to acquire 1,000 uncrewed aircraft for its Collaborative Combat Aircraft (CCA) program, which will operate alongside advanced fighter jets. Thanatos is expected to play a role as a weapons carrier, potentially transporting air-to-air missiles, supporting electronic warfare alongside B-21 Raiders, or conducting autonomous missions.

The Air Force has called for competing designs in the coming year, but the drone development is anticipated to commence by 2025.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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