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Air Force awards $48 million contract to develop unmanned aircraft in Columbus

The Air Force has awarded a $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences.

Posted: Jan. 4, 2018 2:46 PM
Updated: Jan. 4, 2018 3:18 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVA) – Aurora Flight Sciences has been awarded a $48 million Air Force contract to continue the development of Orion unmanned aircraft in Columbus.

Orion aircraft is a twin-engine high-performance Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that can stay aloft for more than 100 hours at a time with payloads in excess of 1,000 pounds.

In December 2014, the Orion established the current 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.

In addition to Columbus, work will be performed in Virginia. 

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