QinetiQ’s Zephyr is a very high-flying, ultra-light solar powered UAV designed to break existing flight length records. It’s one of the contenders in DARPA’s Vulture program, which eventually expects to field an aircraft whose flight length will be measured in years.
The platform also attracted the independent interest of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ. In May 2009, they issued a $44.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to QinetiQ North America in Arlington, VA for 7 Zephyr UAVs and 1 ground station. Work will be performed in Farnborough Hampshire, United Kingdom, and is expected to be complete in May 2014. This contract was competitively procured via a Broad Agency Announcement (N68335-09-C-0194).
The DefenseLINK release cited “up to 3 months continuous operation” as the performance goal, which matched DARPA’s Phase 2 goals. On the other hand…
- Zephyr, and NAWCAD [NEW]
- Contracts & Key Events [NEW]
- Additional Readings [NEW]