Orbital signs new UAV engine development contract

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine manufacturer Orbital Corporation has bounced back from bad news it received from the Boeing company earlier this year, announcing it has signed a contract worth $3.5 million with its major Singapore customer.

In February Orbital confirmed the cancellation of a new UAV engine it was developing for Boeing subsidiary Insitu, though the company continues to manufacture two engine types for Insitu.

Now Orbital has received a second stage engineering contract from the Singapore company – which it has not named – following the initial engine design, development and integration contract signed in 2020 and the acceptance of three prototype engine systems.

Orbital CEO Todd Alder said the company was delighted to move ‘this significant program’ for multi-fuel UAV engines into the next stage of development.

“With this contract, we now have a clearly defined pathway through to production, representing an opportunity for Orbital to establish itself in a new geography with growth potential in the mid-term.”

Orbital has been attempting to diversity its customer base away from its reliance on Boeing, with the new client now added to clients including Textron Systems.

Orbital said the company will now conduct further engineering work and deliver three additional prototype engine systems during financial year 2023.

Subject to the successful delivery and acceptance of the work outlined, the parties have agreed a timeline for the delivery of production-quality engine systems beginning in financial year 2024.

Adler said: “This contract demonstrates the material progress we have achieved with our prestigious Singapore customer and our broader customer diversification strategy. We look forward to delivering this phase of the program over the next 12 months and taking the next step towards production.”

Picture: Orbital Corporation

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