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US Air Force and Defense Innovation Unit select four companies to build Enterprise Test Vehicles

A concept image of Leidos Dynetics' Enterprise Test Vehicle. Leidos Dynetics is one of four companies selected to build ETV prototypes for the USAF and DIU. (Leidos Dynetics)

The US Air Force's (USAF's) Armament Directorate, in conjunction with the Defense Innnovation Unit (DIU), selected four companies to build and flight test Enterprise Test Vehicles (ETVs), the organisations said in a 3 June announcement. The ETVs are to be small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) resembling long-range missiles, intended to rapidly flight test system and subsystem components on a mass scale without the need for specialised craft.

Of over 100 bids submitted for the contract, Anduril, Integrated Solutions for Systems, Leidos Dynetics, and Zone 5 Technologies were selected to build and flight test their ETV designs within seven months, with promising prototypes to be advanced through further flight-testing. The ETVs are intended to leverage open systems architecture and commercial off-the-shelf systems, minimise use of expensive materials, and lean on modular components to be more producible at high rates on an as-needed basis.

The DIU released its ETV solicitation in September 2023, seeking vehicles capable of flying more than 500 n miles with a cruise speed of at least 100 kt.

β€œThe ETV presents an opportunity to leverage promising ideas from industry to create and refine affordable designs for test capabilities that can be produced on a relevant timeline,” said Andrew Hunter, assistant secretary of the USAF for acquisition, technology, and logistics, in the announcement.

Anduril released a statement confirming its selection but declined to elaborate on its design's specifications or capabilities.

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