USAF Contract for Fixed-Wing Autonomous Drone Development

RapidFlight is to develop and produce the SPX, a customizable, autonomous, fixed-wing aircraft system, with a $10 million contract from the US Department of the Air Force (DAF) under the AFWERX Autonomy Prime Program By Joe Macey / 07 Jun 2024
RapidFlight to Develop Fixed-Wing Drone for USAF
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RapidFlight has been awarded a $10 million contract to produce a fixed-wing autonomous aircraft for the US Air Force.

The contract, under the AFWERX Autonomy Prime program, will see the development of the fixed-wing SPX aircraft system.

For the first phase of the 36-month contract, RapidFlight will design SPX UAVs for developmental test and evaluation at the Autonomy Prime Proving Ground, a state-of-the-art facility designed to facilitate swift and iterative testing and development of autonomous UAS technologies.

RapidFlight will then conduct a contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) demonstration of the SPX to the United States Air Force (USAF) at RapidFlight’s flight test facility in Manassas, Va. Throughout the contract, RapidFlight will provide comprehensive operations and maintenance training for SPX to USAF operators.

Mike Uffelman, Director of growth and customer programs at RapidFlight, said; “Our collaboration with the AFWERX Autonomy Prime Program positions RapidFlight as a leading innovator for delivering mission-customized, autonomous aircraft with up to 80% reduced design-to-manufacture time and platform costs as compared to existing solutions. This contract will enable the DAF to explore RapidFlight’s digital engineering process and its modern development approach to produce customizable aircraft with novel technologies critical for national security.”

Lt Col Josh Fehd, AFWERX Autonomy Prime branch chief, added; “Autonomy Prime is excited about this innovative approach to unmanned autonomous aviation,” said Lt Col Josh Fehd, AFWERX Autonomy Prime branch chief. “It represents a promising opportunity to continue our mission of creating a rapid, affordable, and iterative autonomy testing and transition capability for the DAF.”

Posted by Joe Macey Connect & Contact