USAF Awards Skyborg Vanguard Contract for Autonomous Attritable Aircraft

AFLCMC Awards Skyborg Second Phase

(Source: US Air Force; issued Sept. 29, 2020)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio --- The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has completed the second phase of awards for the Skyborg Prototyping, Experimentation and Autonomy Development (SPEAD) multiple indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract.

This round adds AeroVironment Inc., Simi Valley, California; Autodyne LLC, Boston, Massachusetts; BAE System Controls Inc., Arlington, Virginia; Blue Force Technologies Inc., Morrisville, North Carolina; Fregata System Inc., St. Louis, Missouri; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas; NextGen Aeronautics Inc., Torrance, California; Sierra Technical Services, Tehachapi, California; and Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas.

A total of 13 vendors will now compete for up to $400 million in subsequent delivery orders in support of the Skyborg Vanguard Program.

“This second phase of awards establishes a diverse and competitive vendor pool by adding several non-traditional and traditional contractors we saw as important additions to the effort. The diversity of approaches and backgrounds, allows us to access the best industry has to offer,” said Brig. Gen. Dale White, Program Executive Officer for Fighters and Advanced Aircraft. He, along with Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, Commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), serves as the leadership for the Skyborg program.

It has always been the Skyborg Program’s intent to award as many IDIQ contracts as practicable, and to include additional contractors over time. The second phase of awards demonstrates the programs continuous efforts to identify applicable technology and expeditiously inject it into the program to meet warfighter needs.

The Skyborg Vanguard Program continues working the development of technology capable of supporting a diverse set of missions built around the Autonomous Core System. Future Skyborg efforts will demonstrate the competitive advantage of autonomous attritable technology through operational experimentation focused on warfighter inputs.

Skyborg is one of three Vanguard programs identified late last year as part of the Air Force Science and Technology (S&T) 2030 initiative. These high priority development efforts are meant to rapidly field systems, by pairing technology development under AFRL with the acquisitions capabilities found in AFLCMC.

The Air Force expects to begin the process of developing air vehicle prototype designs later this calendar year.


Pentagon Contract Announcement

(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Sept. 29, 2020)

AeroVironment Inc., Simi Valley, California (FA8694-20-D-0100);
BAE Systems Controls Inc., Endicott, New York (FA8694-20-D-0200);
Blue Force Technologies Inc., Morrisville, North Carolina (FA8694-20-D-0300);
Fregata Systems LLC, St. Louis, Missouri (FA8694-20-D-0500);
Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas (FA8694-20-D-0800);
Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas (FA8694-20-D-1000);
Autonodyne LLC, Boston, Massachusetts (FA8694-20-D-1100);
NextGen Aeronautic Inc., Torrance, California (FA8694-20-D-1200); and
Sierra Technical Services Inc., Tehachapi, California (FA8694-20-D-1300),

have been awarded a $400,000,000 shared ceiling, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for all subsequent competitively selected delivery orders in support of the Skyborg Vanguard Program.

These contracts provide for Skyborg prototyping, experimentation and autonomy development, used to deliver missionized prototypes in support of operational experimentation.

Skyborg is an autonomous attritable aircraft capable of achieving a diverse set of missions to generate massed combat power.

Work will be performed in various locations around the U.S., and is expected to be complete by July 2026. These awards were the result of a competitive acquisition and 18 offers were received. No funds are being obligated at the time of award.

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


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