Boom Supersonic has entered a strategic partnership with the US Air Force (USAF) to fast-track research and development (R&D) on its Overture commercial airliner.

Valued at up to $60m, the three-year contract is known as the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) and has been awarded through the USAF’s innovation unit AFWERX and its AFVentures division.

AFWERX is a USAF programme that aims to encourage innovation and address tough challenges within the service while AFVentures is designed to accelerate commercial technologies.

The STRATFI contract awarded to Boom is one of the largest investments of the AFWERX and marks an important commitment to the supersonic aviation future.

The funding will further the design and development initiatives on Overture.

The initiatives include wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition.

Designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, Overture can accommodate between 65 and 88 passengers at double the speed of current airliners.

According to Boom, the supersonic airliner Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft with net-zero carbon emissions right from day one.

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl said: “We are proud of the Air Force’s continued support and recognition of Boom’s leadership in supersonic flight – and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial.

“With STRATFI, we’re able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially derived aircraft.

“As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.”

Overture manufacturing is expected to start in 2023 and the supersonic airliner is scheduled to roll out in 2025.