US Navy and Boeing complete first MQ-25 Stingray transport tests

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US Navy and Boeing successfully maneuvered test instrument for the MQ-25 Stingray on an aircraft carrier for the first time, demonstrating that the aerial refueling drone could be integrated into a carrier environment.

The maneuvers included taxiing and parking on the carrier’s flight deck, connecting to the catapult, and clearing the landing pad. He also evaluated the functionality, capacity and handling qualities of the bridge handling system under different conditions.

Boeing said the demonstration of its MQ-25 T1 test equipment aboard the USS George HW Bush (CVN 77) was being remotely conducted by a portable bridge controller on the carrier’s deck.

“There is no better way to determine the success of a carrier aircraft design and its integration into the air wing than to test this new aircraft at sea,” said Capt. Chad Reed, responsible for the unmanned carrier aviation program.

The USS George HW Bush is the first of four carriers that will be modified with the Unmanned Air Carrier Mission Control System to operate the Stingray.

“This is another important step in demonstrating the integration of the MQ-25 into the Carrier Air Wing on the flight deck of our fleet’s carriers,” said Capt. Chad Reed, said the director of the Unmanned Carrier Aviation program.

About the MQ-25

The MQ-25 Stingray will be the world’s first operational unmanned aircraft capable of providing mid-air refueling capability to an increased range of Navy-deployed fighter jets, including Boeing’s F / A-18 Super Hornet , the Boeing EA. 18G Growler and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters.

The Boeing MQ-25 Stingray refuels an F / A-18 Super Hornet. Photo: Kevin Flynn / Boeing

The aircraft is considered the future of unmanned aircraft carrier aviation for use in US Navy missions. In 2018, the Navy awarded a $ 805.3 million contract with Boeing for the construction of four MQ-25s in six years.

The maneuver of the T1 test asset on the aircraft carrier comes after a two-year flight test in which it was used to refuel three different carrier-based aircraft used by the US Navy.

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