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Team GoldenEye to Develop Organic Air Vehicle for DARPA; Aurora Flight Sciences Selected for Phase One of OAV-II Procurement.

MANASSAS, Va., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that an industry team it leads has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for an award under the Organic Air Vehicle - II (OAV-II) competition. The OAV-II program will develop a Class-II UAV prototype for the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS). The award funds Team GoldenEye, which consists of Aurora, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics Robotic Systems, during the first of three development phases. Combined, the three phases of the program have the potential to last 48 months and have a total program value in excess of $30 million.

"The key to the future of small tactical UAVs is their seamless integration with manned and unmanned ground combat vehicles and the networks that connect the modern battlefield," said Aurora President Dr. John S. Langford. "Because of the major roles the team members play in the integration and management of FCS sensors and networks, the Aurora-Northrop Grumman- General Dynamics team is uniquely positioned to provide such a system to the U.S. Army."

The team's entry is based on the GoldenEye, a ducted fan VTOL aircraft that uses thrust vectoring and torsionally disconnected wings that was originally developed for DARPA through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. GoldenEye has the range and endurance to cover the entire forward edge of battle area, and will feature advanced collision avoidance capability that will allow it to operate in dense urban areas. The aircraft will have the capability to detect targets with visual or infrared sensors and laser designate the targets. In spite of these robust capabilities, GoldenEye will not require runways or helipads to operate. Its small logistical footprint will enable it to move with the FCS small combat unit.

During Phase I of the project, Team GoldenEye will develop a preliminary design for the GoldenEye-OAV system and demonstrate the critical elements of the collision avoidance subsystem.

A Phase II award decision is expected during the summer of 2005, shortly after the completion of Phase I.

About Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences is a leader in unmanned aerial vehicle technology for research, defense and homeland security organizations. For more than 15 years, Aurora Flight Sciences has expanded the limits of unmanned flight through the design and manufacture of innovative aircraft. Learn more about Aurora Flight Sciences by visiting the company's website at http://www.aurora.aero/.

CONTACT: Chuck Wilkins, Communications Manager of Aurora Flight Sciences, +1-703-396-6304, or cwilkins@aurora.aero

Web site: http://www.aurora.aero/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 7, 2004
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