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Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a contract from the United States Air Force to develop a concept demonstrator for its Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft program (ACCA).
The Air Force Research Laboratory contract amounts to $47 million, and will be funded in two phases. The first phase covers the design of a next generation tactical cargo airplane, while the second phase if authorized includes the actual fabrication and manufacture of the design. Upon conclusion of the second phase there will be a first flight of the aircraft.
“”Aurora is honoured to have been selected by the United States Air Force to do this work,”” said Aurora President John Langford. “”We take great pride in our company’s leading edge innovation, and our unique capabilities in composites manufacturing.””
The ACCA will be built in Aurora’s newly opened facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi. Aurora’s other facilities in Virginia, West Virginia, and Massachusetts will all support the project.
“”This is great news for Aurora and for Mississippi,”” U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS) said. “”The folks from Aurora competed for this contract with the biggest military contractors. This project will enhance Mississippi’s growing aerospace industry and expand economic opportunities in our state. I am proud of the partnership we have forged with Aurora, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with this world-class company in the future.””
“”ACCA will allow us to combine our experience in rapid prototyping, composite manufacturing, and advanced UAV technologies to provide the Air Force with a state of the art, all-composite, advanced cargo transport,”” Langford said.
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