The Air Force Research Lab has issued a broad agency announcement seeking concepts for a new Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft that will “break current paradigms of vehicle cost as related to weight” for a new tactical airlifter. AFRL wants proposals by March 8 that offer “innovative structural configurations and concepts.” (The lab actually first issued this BAA in December, but cancelled it and reissued this week.) The emphasis, according to the BAA, is on design and manufacturing technologies that would “significantly reduce” weight and cost. The Air Force expects to make up to three awards for detailed designs in Phase 1 by April 20, and go on to select one design by Oct. 1 for the Phase 2 fabrication and demonstration of the flight demonstrator.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.