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Sikorsky funded for Phase III of DARPA's ALIAS program

Ryan Maass
DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System seeks to boost levels of automation into existing aircraft. Pictured: U.S. Air Force pilots perform pre-flight checklist operations inside of a B-52H Stratofortress. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong
Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky received a $35.7 million contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program.
The prototype project agreement provides funding for Phase III of the program, which seeks to create installable and removable kits that can be integrated with 80 of the aircraft operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, or ALIAS, is a DARPA effort to boost in-flight automation capabilities for military aircraft. Defense authorities say the developments will reduce the workload for pilots, improve safety, and augment mission performance.
Under Phase III of the program, Sikorsky will focus on the fabrication and installation of prototype kits on multiple aircraft variants, and conduct flight demonstrations for each.
According to the Pentagon, the estimated government funding for the agreement will be $21 million, while Sikorsky's cost share is $14 million.
Work on the contract will be performed at various locations, including Stratford, Conn.; Westford, Mass.; Pittsburgh, Penn.; and is expected to be complete by February 2018. DARPA is listed as the contracting activity.

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