Boeing has received an $805 million contract to build the US Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 aerial refueller, the company announced on 30 August.
The company has been awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft.
MQ-25 Stingray, designed to provide the navy with a refuelling capability, will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also integrate with carrier catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said: ‘As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the US Navy’s refuelling requirements.
‘The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world.’