October 26, 2021
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Extending range
Aurora wins DARPA TERN program contract

The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has awarded Aurora Flight Sciences a $2,811,232 contract for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program. The objective of the DAPRA TERN program is to design, develop, and demonstrate a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and related technologies to enable future launch, recovery, and operations from a wide range of existing US Navy ships.

Aurora would design a deployable UAS capable of launch and recovery from small naval ships. Leveraging innovative autonomous flight control Aurora’s Orion UAS and Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA). Aurora would take a systems level approach to address the challenges of capture dispersion, capture load management, and ship-board integration with a minimal on-board footprint. TERN would enable unmanned air vehicles with significant payload capabilities to operate from a large number of ships that do not have runways.

The DARPA TERN program would provide warfighters with an affordable solution that allows
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