Wednesday, March 3, 2021

U.S. Air Force awards contract to Volansi for Skyborg

Voly Defense Solutions LLC (Volansi), a Concord-based aerospace firm, was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force for Skyborg Vanguard Program.

The aim of the Skyborg Vanguard program is to integrate autonomous attritable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology with open missions systems to enable manned-unmanned teaming. Skyborg will provide the foundation on which the Air Force can build an airborne autonomous ‘best of breed’ system that adapts, orients and decides at machine speed for a wide variety of increasingly complex mission sets.

The contract, from Air Force Life Cycle Management and announced on Monday, is valued at more than $400 million.

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According to the U.S. Department of Defense contract announcements, the Skyborg prototyping, experimentation and autonomy development contract will be used to deliver missionized prototypes in support of operational experimentation and develop the first Skyborg air platform with modular hardware and software payloads that will incorporate the Skyborg autonomy core system and enable manned/unmanned teaming.

Also noted that the locations of performance are to be determined at the order level and are expected to be completed July 2026.

In addition, earlier in December, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has awarded contracts to three companies to produce missionized unmanned aerial vehicle prototypes with the ability to fly in experimentation events while teaming with manned aircraft.

The contracts were awarded with a 24-month period of performance to the following companies:

  • The Boeing Co., for $25,748,180
  • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., for $14,317,933
  • Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., for $37,771,577

Initial vehicles are anticipated to be delivered no later than May 2021 to conduct initial flight testing prior to proceeding into experimentation events beginning in July 2021.

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Colton Jones
Colton Jones is technology editor for Defenсe Blog. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere.

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