Long-flight Orion UAS contracted by U.S. Air Force

January 8, 2018  - By

Aurora’s Orion ultra-long-endurance UAS.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences for the continued development of the Orion unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Aurora Flight is a Boeing company.

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 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.

Boeing completed the acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences in November 2017.

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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