The Swiss Department of Defense has ordered the aircraft for use as a test bed for sensors and other equipment required for unmanned aerial systems to fly in the country's air space.
"Reliability, safety, efficiency and low noise are essential features of Centaur," said Armasuisse program manager Roland Ledermann. "This hybrid aircraft is uniquely suited to the needs of customers who seek the advantages of a remotely piloted aircraft but must also operate in crowded skies."
Armasuisse is the defense procurement arm of Switzerland.
The Centaur is a unique tri-mode, twin-engine aircraft. It can be crewed like a normal aircraft or can be flown as an unmanned aerial vehicle through the quick installation of a UAV control system in the cockpit. In hybrid mode, it can function as a UAV but with crew on board it. The crew would have the capability to override the robotic UAV flight control system.
Aurora developed the aircraft with an industry team that included Diamond Aircraft, Rockwell Collins and Textron/AAI.
Switzerland will receive the first production Centaur this year, Aurora said.