The company said the contract was awarded under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s AFWERX program in partnership with the Air Combat Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Due to the current Air Force pilot shortage and tightened training budget constraints, the branch is unable to provide potential fighter pilots with an adequate amount of live air training necessary for modern USAF missions.
Under the contract, Exosonic will provide USAF with mock near-peer adversary supersonic UAVs to challenge fighter pilots during live flight training exercises.
The company noted that this will be USAF’s first purpose-built supersonic combat drone intended for pilot training use.
Norris Tie, CEO of Exosonic, said the contract will enable the company to enhance USAF’s pilot training mission while providing Exosonic with vital funds to advance its supersonic aircraft capabilities.
“The supersonic UAV work is critical to our company’s strategy due to how much we’ll learn about designing, manufacturing, and maintaining supersonic airplanes with our first UAV products,” Tie added.
Exosonic’s supersonic UAVs will help the Air Force cut the costs, time and operational aircraft damage associated with the current pilot training challenges and enable the branch to efficiently produce fully-trained fighter pilots capable of defending the country against modern adversaries.
Additionally, Exosonic will work with government contractors including Tactical Air Support to research and develop better pilot training methods using supersonic UAVs.