US Air Force Awards $3.7B for Ground Test Support in Tennessee

The US Air Force has awarded engineering startup Beyond New Horizons (BHN) a contract worth over $3.7 billion to provide support services for the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) in Tennessee.

AEDC is a complex built in the 1950s to research and simulate aircraft, ballistics, space environment, rockets, and other aerodynamic and propulsion systems for the US Department of Defense.

Under the agreement, BNH will conduct technology development, trial operations, facility and equipment maintenance, as well as capital movements to “ensure continuity” of the center’s ground test missions over the “next several years.”

The services will be distributed across several AEDC operating sites, including the Arnold Air Force Base, the Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 in Maryland, the White Sands Missile Range’s National Radar Cross Section Test Facility in New Mexico, and the National Full Scale Aerodynamics Complex in California.

The Landing Gear Test and Aerospace Vehicle Survivability Facilities at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio will also receive support under the framework.

Work will run for 12 years and will receive additional support from BNH’s parent companies Astrion and Fluor.

“Through this contract, Astrion will establish a new era of aerospace testing for the Air Force characterized by cutting-edge innovation, unparalleled efficiency, and unwavering dedication,” Astrion CEO Dave Zolet said.

“We are proud to support the Air Force as it elevates its preparation for the next generation of readiness. We strive to be the difference for our customers delivering results with impact.”

Establishing Position

According to BNH, the company’s latest contract builds on a $910 million US Army contract awarded to Astrion in February.

This five-year project encompasses similar tasks to sustain the effectiveness and safety of the weapon systems, missiles, sensors, and aviation platforms under the agency’s Test and Evaluation Command.

“This win solidifies our position as the partner for progress in mission testing, operations, and engineering,” Astrion Chief Growth Officer Fog Hahn said on the latest agreement.

“Together with Fluor, we are confident that [Test Operations and Sustainment II] opens opportunities for growth and unparalleled innovation to advance ground test and sustainment operations at AEDC and beyond.”

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