Military Embedded Systems

Seaplane development contract for DARPA won by General Atomics


February 03, 2023

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Illustration courtesy General Atomics

SAN DIEGO, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has won a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop "an aircraft capable of sustained seaborne strategic and tactical lift," the company announced in a statement.

The $8 million contract is in support of DARPA's Liberty Lifter program, which is focused on designing a seaplane that can operate less than 100 feet above the ground but can also fly up to 10,000 feet above sea level while transporting "huge payloads" faster than current platforms, the statement reads.

The contract award covers the next six months, and there is an option to extend it another 12 months to mature and complete the design. If extended, the contract award could grow to $29 million.

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