WASHINGTON Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a contract for more than $89 million for the vertical take off and landing X-plane, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
The contract is for the second and third phase of the X-plane research portfolio, the Department of Defense said in its daily digest of major contract awards.
Aurora Flight beat out Sikorsky, now with Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Karem Aircraft.
In a statement, the company said the unmanned aircraft, called LightningStrike, aimed to increase speed by 50 percent compared to current vertical take off and landing aircraft.
"If successful, VTOL X-Plane’s radically improved flight capabilities could lead to revolutionary advancement of the U.S. military’s future mission capabilities," CEO Dr. John Langford said.
The work is expected to be completed by September 2018.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Sandra Maler)