March 5 (UPI) -- Corvid Technologies was awarded a $223.3 million contract for hardware, equipment and components to produce suborbital flight vehicles for the U.S. Navy, other government organizations and Japan.
The contract is for short- and medium-range vehicles over a five-year ordering period, the Defense Department announced Monday.
In a suborbital flight, a spaceflight reaches outer space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body and does not complete one orbital revolution. The edge of the atmosphere is 62 miles about Earth's sea level.
The Corvid flight vehicles are rocket-based vehicles specifically configured to deliver payloads and test articles into a flight regime for systems under test.
Seventy-six percent of the work is for the Navy, 12 percent for other government agencies and 12 percent from foreign military sales for Japan.
Work is expected to be completed by February 2024. Seventy percent of the work will be performed at White Sands Missile Range in N.M., with the rest completed in Mooresville, N.C.; Herndon, Va.; Glen Burnie, Md.; Las Cruces, N.N.; and Huntsville, Ala.
Foreign military sales funding for Japan in the amount of $8 million has been obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Corvid, founded in 2004 and based in Mooresville, N.C., is a small business that provides technology-based solutions, including the Missile Defense Agency.
Private companies, including Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, have been developing suborbital spaceflight. NASA has launched numerous suborbital vehicles.
Last August, the Federal Aviation Administration approved launching satellites into suborbital space at Spaceport Colorado in Front Range Airport in Adams County. Space planes take off like a normal jet and then engage rockets at about 45,000 feet to transport passengers or researchers into suborbital space.