The Air Force Research Lab has awarded two contracts for work on the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft to design, develop, and manufacture a technology demonstration aircraft. We reported earlier that the effort had gotten the attention of several contractors, including Lockheed Martin, which received a $49.1 million contract. Not on the original public list of offerors was Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas, Va., which has received an award of $46.9 million. The goal of this effort is to demonstrate design and manufacturing technologies that could significantly reduce the structural weight and cost of future military transport aircraft. Program manager Barth Shenk told the Daily Report that AFRL expects to see demonstrators by September 2008.
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.