Concept art from the Air Force Research Lab shows how the F-35 could be linked to a series of drones through the “loyal wingman” program

The Boeing Co., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc. and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. have each been awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a shared ceiling of $400,000,000 for all subsequent competitively selected delivery orders in support of the Skyborg Vanguard Program.

Skyborg is an autonomous attritable aircraft capable of achieving a diverse set of missions to generate massed combat power; delivering a future Air Force which can deter, blunt and defeat peer adversaries. 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.

The locations of performance are to be determined at the order level and are expected to be completed by July 2026. These awards are being made as a result of a competitive acquisition and 18 offers were received. No funds are obligated on the awards and funding will be provided on each individual order.

Air Force Life Cycle Management, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Image: Air Force Research Laboratory

Source: DoD 

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