Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has received a potential $247.5 million contract to design, build and test a supersonic aircraft for NASA.
NASA said Tuesday the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract calls for the development of a Low-Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft, dubbed X-plane, designed to travel at a speed of about 940 miles per hour at 55,000 feet and produce a sound at 75 perceived decibel level instead of a sonic boom.
Work on the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract started Monday, April 2, and is slated for completion on Dec. 31, 2021.
Lockheed’s Skunk Works business will develop the X-plane based on the company’s preliminary design work on the agency’s Quiet Supersonic Technology program under a task order awarded in 2016, the company said Tuesday.
Skunk Works will build the aircraft at its Palmdale, California-based facility in preparation for the plane’s initial flight in 2021.
NASA will fly the aircraft by mid-2022 to gather and relay public feedback on the flights to U.S. and international regulators in order to draft new supersonic flight rules.