General Atomics’ aeronautical systems business has secured a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the development of an aircraft capable of sustained seaborne strategic and tactical lift.
The Defense Department said Friday the $8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract award is in support of DARPA’s Liberty Lifter program.
The program’s focus is on designing, building and testing a seaplane that can operate efficiently at less than 100 feet above the ground, hold flight altitudes of up to 10,000 feet mean sea level and transport huge payloads at speeds faster than current sea lift platforms.
DARPA will obligate an initial $6.2 million from fiscal 2022 research and development funds at the time of the award.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will perform work in Poway, California, through May 2023.