Anduril, General Atomics chosen in Air Force contracts



The 7-year-old company that last year bought North Carolina-based Blue Force Technologies was chosen Wednesday for contract by the Air Force with one other ahead of three giants in American defense.

Anduril Industries, headquartered in California and founded in 2017, was chosen as one of two vendors in the Collaborative Combat Aircraft program. Anduril is an American defense technology company, with a specialty in autonomous systems.

General Atomics, out of San Diego and celebrating 70 years in summer of 2025, is the other vendor chosen.

In the program, Anduril says it will design, manufacture and test production-representative collaborative combat aircraft. A key piece of the deal with Blue Force was the autonomous air vehicle Fury.

“Just over two years ago,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said, “we announced our intent as part of our Operational Imperatives, to pursue collaborative combat aircraft. Now, following the enactment of the fiscal year 2024 budget, we’re exercising option awards to two companies to construct production representative test articles. The progress we’ve made is a testament to the invaluable collaboration with industry, whose investment alongside the Air Force has propelled this initiative forward. It’s truly encouraging to witness the rapid execution of this program.”

The program could deliver 1,000 combat aircraft that fly in tandem with manned platforms, such as the F-35. The major East Coast aviation unit of the U.S. Marine Corps is the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, which primarily operates from Marine Corps Air Stations Cherry Point, New River and Beaufort in Onslow and Carteret counties.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in Wayne County, is home to the 4th Fighter Wing. It carries out training and operational missions with the F-15E Strike Eagles. The manned aircraft are recognized as one of the best in both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

In a statement, Brian Schimpf, the CEO and a co-founder of Anduril, said, “With the CCA program, Secretary Kendall and the Air Force have embraced a fast-moving, forward-looking approach to find autonomous systems at speed and scale.”

He said his company aims to deliver.

The Air Force said it is “on track to make a competitive production decision for the first increment of CCA in fiscal year 2026 and field a fully operational capability before the end of the decade. The DAF’s option exercise decision does not exclude any of the vendors from competing for the future Increment 1 production contract.”

On social media, U.S. Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., wrote congratulations to Anduril “for their critical work on this next-generation aircraft. North Carolina will continue to play a centrol role in keeping us a strong nation.”

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman are major players in defense for America. All remain part of the conversation for future contracts of piloted aircraft.

Anduril touts high performance with next-generation software capabilities in its counter drone systems and extra-large autonomous underwater vehicles.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, an affiliate of General Atomics, was successful in February with the maiden flight of the XQ-67A prototype. Two additional flights have happened since, creating what it calls “the groundwork for a successful production and flight test program.”

Mike Atwood, vice president of Advanced Programs, said, “The CCA program redefines the future of aviation and will shape the USAF acquisition model to deliver affordable combat mass to the warfighter at the speed of relevancy.”

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