Boeing (NYSE: BA), General Atomics' aeronautical systems business and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (Nasdaq: KTOS) have received separate two-year contracts worth $77.8M combined to develop prototype unmanned air vehicles for the U.S. Air Force's manned-unmanned teaming experimentation initiative.
All three companies will aim to build UAV technology to serve as testbeds for an autonomous core system concept under the military service's Skyborg Vanguard program, the AF Life Cycle Management Center said Monday.
The contracts of Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and Kratos are valued at $25.7M, $14.3M and $37.8M, respectively.
USAF plans to assess the performance of each contractor across multiple phases over a 24-month period and expects to receive the prototypes by May 2021 for an initial flight test before the service branch commences formal experiments in July of the same year.
The branch designated Skyborg as one of its three Vanguard programs last year under a science and technology strategy designed to accelerate the development and deployment of warfighter systems over the next decade.