USAF issues Bandit design contract for UAV-based red air training
The US Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Blue Force Technologies to develop a UAV to support adversary air (ADAIR) training missions.
The Bandit programme contract is worth an initial $9 million over 12 months plus options to complete the design and build up to four UAVs, the AFRL announced on 9 March.
A UAV design will fit into a broader autonomy-based system for USAF, USMC and USN pilots to access in ADAIR training, cutting costs in comparison with crewed training.
Blue Force Technologies will mature the vehicle design to critical design level, perform engine ground testing and validate the design of the engine installation under the technical guidance of AFRL subject matter experts.
‘Options under this contract, if exercised, will complete the design and engineering tasks, produce up to four air vehicles and complete initial flight testing,’ the AFRL added.
Alyson Turri, AFRL Bandit programme manager, said: ‘The goal is to develop an unmanned platform that looks like a fifth-generation adversary with similar vehicle capabilities.’
AFRL is coordinating the Bandit program with USAF Air Combat Command and has aligned the UAV development effort in support of the unmanned ADAIR capability.
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