The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded a new contract under the Bandit programme to develop an uncrewed air vehicle (UAV) for adversary air (ADAIR) training missions.

The small business innovation research contract was won by North Carolina-based Blue Force Technologies.

It was awarded after a strategic financing (STRATFI) proposal was selected by the USAF programme AFWERX. The initiative carries an initial value of $9m and options to develop up to four UAVs.

Under the contract, Blue Force Technologies will develop a high-performance UAV design that can be used by USAF fighter aircraft pilots for training.

The use of UAVs will enable Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighter jet crew to undergo adversary air training at reduced costs.

In 12 months, the programme is expected to complete the critical design level, perform engine ground testing and validate the design to support engine installation.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

AFRL subject matter experts will provide technical guidance to the development.

If the options are exercised, the programme will further advance to complete design and engineering tasks, produce up to four air vehicles and conduct initial flight testing.

AFRL Bandit programme manager Alyson Turri said: “These small unmanned ADAIR systems can be flown in training scenarios so that fighter pilots can train against tactically relevant adversaries in threat representative numbers.

“The goal is to develop an unmanned platform that looks like a fifth-generation adversary with similar vehicle capabilities.”

The Bandit programme seeks to deliver an autonomous air vehicle equipped with mission payloads and sensors that can help in transforming adversary air training.

Earlier this month, LinQuest secured a task order to support AFRL’s Skyborg Vanguard Programme.