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DARPA Awards Aurora Flight Sciences $89M Contract to Continue VTOL X-Plane Development

VTOL X-PlaneAurora Flight Sciences has been awarded an $89.4 million contract to further develop an unmanned vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft for the second and third phases of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency‘s VTOL X-Plane program.

DARPA received three offers for the acquisition program and is obligating $53.4 million in research and development funds at the time of award, the Defense Department said Thursday.

The agency notes the X-Plane will be built to weigh between 10, 000 and 12, 000 pounds and designed to fly at a speed of up to 460 miles per hour and generate a hover efficiency rate of at least 75 percent.

Boeing (NYSE: BA), Karem Aircraft and Sikorsky participated in the VTOL X-Plane program’s first phase.

Aurora Flight Sciences will perform contract work in Virginia, Indiana, Arizona and California through September 2018.

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