(Reuters) – Archer Aviation shares jumped as much as 33% on Monday after the air taxi maker entered into a deal to provide up to six of its “Midnight” aircraft to the U.S. Air Force.
The deal, worth up to $142 million, includes delivery of vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, pilot training, development of maintenance and repair operations, and share data such as additional flight test and certification-related test reports.
The California-based company in May completed the final assembly of its first “Midnight” (eVTOL) aircraft. It can carry four passengers and a pilot and has a range of up to 100 miles (160.9 km).
Last month, Joby Aviation, which also has a deal with the U.S. Air Force, said it would deliver the first two electric aircraft in March 2024 to the Edwards Air Force Base after completing their initial testing.
Archer last month hired former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acting administrator Billy Nolen as chief safety officer in an effort to collaborate with industry stakeholders and help ensure its plans of commercialization in 2025.
Archer’s shares, trading last at $6.38, have tripled in value so far this year.
(Reporting by Pratyush Thakur in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)