The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has narrowed to three the number of contractors bidding to supply a ducted fan-based unmanned air vehicle, marking the first step in a four-year effort. Aurora Flight Sciences, BAE Systems Aircraft Controls and Honeywell International received awards on 30 November under DARPA's Organic Air Vehicle-II programme, which seeks a vehicle-launched micro-UAV weighing around 51kg (112lb).

The competition will run for 15 months, starting with a six-month phase to refine designs and technical requirements for subsystems.

Aurora is offering a version of its Goldeneye, while Honeywell's proposal is based on the Allied Aerospace iSTAR UAV. BAE has not released details of its ducted fan technology.

Stephen Trimble / Washington DC


Source: Flight International