Joby Aviation, a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced an expansion of its existing contract with the US Air Force’s Agility Prime program that increases the contract’s potential value by more than $45 million.
Agility Prime, launched in April 2020, is the Air Force’s collaborative initiative to work with the industrial base on testing and experimentation, accelerating development of the commercial eVTOL aircraft industry, enabling resilient distributed logistics and sustainable mobility.
Through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transition (STTR) programs, run by AFWERX AFVentures, the program works with the small business community to advance the eVTOL industry.
Building on more than five years of engagement with defense agencies, the expanded contract leverages Joby’s years of research and technology development and will include new testing to evaluate Joby’s advanced technologies. It brings the potential value of the total contract to more than $75 million.
Joby’s all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft primed for flight at the company’s manufacturing and flight testing facility in Marina, California.
The contract also widens the Company’s defense partnerships to include the US Marine Corps, which will participate in government-directed flight tests and use case exploration, including resupply, relocation of personnel, and emergency medical response applications.
Joby’s engagement with government partners bolsters the company’s primary goal of launching a commercial passenger service by providing access to testing facilities, early operational experience for government customers, and a partial offset to our research and development costs.
On 3 August 2022, Joby attended the White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility, which convened industry, government agencies, and military personnel to discus how to advance US leadership in this critical, new technology area.
With the expansion of Joby’s contract, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have all now identified eVTOL aircraft as a critical area of interest.
In 2020, Joby became the first eVTOL developer to receive military airworthiness approval for its pre-production prototype aircraft. With a maximum range of 150 miles, Joby’s piloted, emissions-free aircraft can transport four passengers at speeds up to 200 mph with a quiet acoustics profile.