The Defense Department said Wednesday that Boeing Co. was awarded an $89.3 million contract to work on a light, unmanned aircraft that can stay aloft for at least five years without stopping to refuel.
The work for the Vulture II program was contracted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The Vulture program is designed to produce a high-altitude surveillance aircraft with advantages of a satellite, including being able to fly under its own power while carrying up to 1,000 pounds of gear. The Defense agency said Wednesday that key attributes include solar energy collection and storage, reliability and flight control for a large but light craft.
The program is expected to end with a long experimental flight by a demonstration aircraft.
Work will be performed in St. Louis, Seattle and Arlington, Va. It is expected to be finished in February 2014.
Boeing shares fell 3 cents to close at $62.73.