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Exosonic Awarded U.S. Air Force SBIR Phase 2 Contract

AFWERX selects EXOSONIC, INC for a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 contract to develop a digital design and trade study for a fifth-generation supersonic target.

March 10th, 2023 – The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded Exosonic, Inc. a $1.250 million contract to initiate the design and development of a supersonic fifth-generation target. This contract was awarded under the AFRL’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

In a Direct-to-Phase II SBIR, Exosonic will perform a design study that will include an analysis of alternatives and reuse options related to major subsystems, including propulsion, avionics, and landing gear. The results of the effort will be to create a viable design and a path to prototyping and development of the aircraft.

“Exosonic is pleased to work with our Air Force customer in the initial design of this critical program that will support the Air Force’s Operational Imperatives.” said Craig Austin, Exosonic’s Head of Business Development. “The target will support the development of new Air Force weapons and will enable thorough testing of our air-to-air-missiles in the most challenging and operationally representative environments, ensuring lethality against the threats we expect to face in a near-peer conflict.”

“We look forward to working with Exosonic in the initial design of the platform.” said Michael “Grease” Panarisi, Chief of the Test Resource Management Office at Eglin AFB. “A fifth-generation target is essential to allow the U.S. Air Force to maintain its qualitative advantage in aerial combat.”

About Exosonic
Exosonic is an early-stage aerospace start-up based in Los Angeles, CA developing supersonic UAVs to support the aerial target, collaborative combat aircraft, and adversary air training missions for both government and commercial customers. The company’s goals include maturing the supersonic UAVs in support of Air Force missile test operations and other U.S government programs and eventually developing quiet supersonic airliners that will revolutionize passenger travel. Founded in 2019, Exosonic has raised $4M+ in private capital and $3M+ in AFWERX funding. For more information, visit

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit:

AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Additional information is available at:

About AFVentures
AFVentures invests in emerging technologies to scale Department of the Air Force capabilities, strengthening the US industrial base that empowers Airmen and Guardians by incentivizing private, for-profit investment in national security interests. Our success is achieved by connecting novel commercial solutions with defense problem sets, de-risking Airmen and Guardian initiatives to fill capability gaps and transition technologies. Learn more at

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