Joby Aviation has announced the expansion of its existing contract with the US Air Force’s Agility Prime program that increases the contract’s potential value by more than $45 million.

Building on more than five years of engagement with defense agencies, the expanded contract leverages Joby’s years of research and technology development and will include new testing to evaluate Joby’s advanced technologies, bringing the potential value of the total contract to more than $75 million.

The contract also widens the Company’s defense partnerships to include the US Marine Corps, which will participate in government-directed flight tests and use case exploration, including resupply, relocation of personnel, and emergency medical response applications.

Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: “As we work toward our goal of launching a passenger ridesharing service, we are grateful for the support of our defense partners.

“This extension provides valuable support for our ongoing development efforts and allows our partners to see first-hand the potential for this aircraft in their future concept of operations.”

Joby’s engagement with government partners bolsters the Company’s primary goal of launching a commercial passenger service by providing access to testing facilities, early operational experience for government customers, and a partial offset to our research and development costs.

Earlier this month, Joby attended the White House Summit on Advanced Air Mobility, which convened industry, government agencies, and military personnel to discuss how to advance US leadership in this critical, new technology area.

With the expansion of Joby’s contract, the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have all now identified eVTOL aircraft as a critical area of interest.

Last month, Joby Aviation announced it had formally applied for its aircraft design to be certified for use in the UK, believed to be the first eVTOL company to apply for foreign validation of its US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certificate.

In 2020, Joby became the first eVTOL developer to receive military airworthiness approval for its pre-production prototype aircraft. With a maximum range of 150 miles, Joby’s piloted, emissions-free aircraft can transport four passengers at speeds up to 200 mph with a revolutionary quiet acoustics profile.