MANASSAS, VA. --- The U.S. Air Force has awarded a new $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences for the continued development of the Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
Orion is a twin-engine high performance UAS that can stay aloft over 100 hours at a time with payloads in excess of 1,000 pounds. Development of the Orion started in 2006 and its first flight was in August 2013. In December 2014, the Orion established the current UAS world endurance record with an 80-hour, 2-minute and 52-second flight.
The new contract funds the development of a certified version of Orion that will be suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. The work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, and Manassas, Virginia.
Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company, is an innovative technology company which strives to create smarter aircraft through the development of versatile and intuitive autonomous systems. Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora has more than 550 employees and operates in six locations, including research and development centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Luzern, Switzerland; manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Columbus, Mississippi; and offices in Dayton, Ohio, and Mountain View, California.