General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to support the Liberty Lifter program with a contract worth $8 million. The program aims to design, build and test a seaplane that can operate efficiently at altitudes of less than 100 feet above sea level and transport large payloads at speeds faster than current sea lift platforms.
GA-ASI has partnered with Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) to bring their expertise in air and sea-based craft design to the project. The award covers the next six months as the base effort, and if the option is exercised, GA-ASI will spend the next 12 months maturing and completing the design and preparing for manufacturing with the award potentially growing to a total of $29 million.
GA-ASI President David R. Alexander said, “Our experience in maritime aircraft such as the MQ-9B SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian will help advance the capabilities of the Liberty Lifter concept and expand our cargo aircraft portfolio.”
This contract award marks a significant step forward in the advancement of a cargo seaplane design capable of delivering heavy cargo and revolutionizing transport to support the warfighter. The program will shift the paradigm of strategic lift to a cost per ton approach, rather than cost per pound.
Together, GA-ASI and MAPC will bring their expertise to the Liberty Lifter program and help advance the capabilities of this innovative seaplane concept. This project highlights GA-ASI’s commitment to the advancement of cutting-edge technology and their dedication to supporting the U.S. Defense Department.