The Marines are now a part of Joby Aviation’s contract with the United States Air Force

The US Department of Defense is expanding its partnership with Joby Aviation, a firm that makes electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

To help the Air Force’s Agility Prime programme, Joby said on Wednesday that it is extending its current contract with the company. Agility Prime was established in April 2020 to test, experiment, and generally speed up the development of eVTOLs for commercial and military usage.

Resupply and evacuation of people, as well as emergency medical response, are among of the non-combat uses that the U.S. Marine Corps will test Joby eVTOLs for under the DoD contract with Joby’s executive chairman Paul Sciarra.

For a number of reasons, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have all designated eVTOL as a vital area of focus. For stealth operations, EVTOLs offer a reduced noise level, cheaper operating costs, and more mission and operational flexibility.

According to Sciarra, “there is also a drive inside the DoD that may be unexpected to many people to green the total footprint of their operations, and replacing jet fuel-burning vehicles with electric planes may be a component of that jigsaw.”.

eVTOL is a new competitive geopolitical frontier for the United States, and the DoD’s objective to be at the forefront of the next generation of aviation technology and having a role in how that technology develops is arguably most critical.

There has even been a conference on advanced air mobility convened by the White House only recently. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Coordination and Leadership Act was brought up by space leaders among other things. This legislation is now making its way through the United States Congress. An interagency working group is to be established by the Department of Transportation to develop and organise an ecosystem in the United States.

Joby sees the contract’s potential worth rising to more than 75 million as a result of the contract’s growth. It’s not yet on Joby’s financial sheet, but the relationship gives him access to testing facilities, a foot in the door with government partners, and some assistance with the expense of advanced research and development.

That might lead to “more major deployments of actual aircraft in the field with the military,” said Sciarra. “We both hope that will happen.” This is a “building block” to ensure that the [DoD] knows what [eVTOL] can achieve and how best to utilise it.”

Additionally, according to Sciarra, the Department of Defense (DoD) has a different certification procedure than the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which might offer Joby a leg up in the federal market.

Earlier this year, the FAA granted Joby the necessary approval to commence commercial air taxi operations.

Joby is scheduled to release its financial results for the second quarter on Thursday. A 36% drop in profits per share is predicted for the pre-revenue firm, with analysts projecting it to be -0.15.