The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is in the midst of awarding contracts to six companies to develop cutting-edge aerospace vehicles.
The lab has already announced three recipients in August: Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman [NOC].
The companies will “conduct research to develop, demonstrate, integrate and transition new aerospace vehicle technologies and systems that will provide affordable, revolutionary capabilities to the warfighter,” AFRL said. “These technology developments will provide for cost-effective aerospace vehicle platforms capable of accurate delivery of weapons, payloads (e.g. sensors) and cargo worldwide.”
The six indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts will have a shared ceiling of $499 million. The contracts resulted from a January solicitation and fall under the Aerospace Systems Air Platform Technology Research (ASAPTR) program.
Aurora, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman plan to carry out their activities by 2025 in Manassas, Va.; Redondo Beach, Calif.; and Fort Worth, Texas, respectively. So far, AFRL has obligated $100,000 to each of the three recipients.
AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, said in a statement that it will not release more details about the contracts until it has announced the rest of the recipients. Aurora said in a news release that it will draw on its earlier work in such areas as advanced manufacturing, autonomy, electric propulsion and multi-vehicle coordination.