Archer Aviation Inc. an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company, has significantly expanded its partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by signing new contracts with the U.S. Air Force with a total value of up to $142 million.
This new execution phase of the partnership includes the delivery of up to six of Archer’s Midnight aircraft to the Air Force, the sharing of additional flight test data and certification related test reports, pilot training, and the development of maintenance and repair operations. As a result of these contracts, Archer will create and provide capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.
Archer has been partnering with the DoD since 2021 on a series of projects through the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program with the goal of helping the AFWERX Agility Prime program assess the transformational potential of the vertical flight market and eVTOL technologies for DoD purposes. Now, with Archer recently completing the manufacturing of its first Midnight aircraft, the DoD recognizes that with its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, target payload of approximately 1,000lbs, proprietary electric powertrain system, and low noise profile, Archer’s aircraft represents a potential paradigm shift in military aviation and operations. These aircraft hold the promise of enhancing rapid response, agility, and operational effectiveness across a wide range of mission profiles, from personnel transport and logistics support to rescue operations and more. Archer’s Midnight aircraft are expected to provide a much safer and quieter alternative to helicopters while being more cost-effective for the U.S. military to transport, operate and maintain in the field.
“It is our mission to ensure the U.S. continues to lead the world in developing and deploying emerging aerospace technology,” said Colonel Tom Meagher, the lead for AFWERX Agility Prime programs. “eVTOL aircraft represent the cusp of the third revolution in aerospace, and these aircraft and their descendents will drive advances in capabilities and efficiency. Our contracts with Archer Aviation provide the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Air Force the opportunity to play a role in ensuring from the onset, and as the technology evolves, that we unlock the many benefits these aircraft have to offer the U.S. military.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Archer announcing the formation of the company’s Government Services Advisory Board in May. The goal of the advisory board is to allow Archer to more fully engage with U.S. government and public safety agencies to explore opportunities to commercialize its eVTOL aircraft. The members of this advisory board are assisting and facilitating Archer’s direct engagement with appropriate government agencies and officials to advance both consideration and implementation of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft and related technologies. The board includes Retired 4-star General Steve Townsend, Retired 3-star Lieutenant General David A. Krumm, Retired 3-star Vice Admiral Ron Boxall, Retired 2-star General Clayton M. Hutmacher, Retired 2-star General Bill Gayler, and Retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Durant.