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    The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson transits the South China Sea while conducting flight operations on April 9, 2017.

    US Navy Requests $222 Million to Integrate MQ-25 Drone Into Carrier Operations

    © REUTERS/ Z.A. Landers/Courtesy U.S. Navy
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    The US Navy has requested over $200 million to integrate the aircraft carrier based MQ-25 drone as an airborne surveillance platform, according to a Department of Defense budget document.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy is asking Congress for over $222 million in the 2018 fiscal year to integrate the aircraft carrier based MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can refuel manned aircraft and other UAVs or function as an airborne surveillance platform.

    "FY 2018 Total, Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA), $222,208,000," is a line item request in the document.

    The Navy originally designed the MQ-25 Stingray as a weapon system and surveillance and intelligence platform. It was repurposed by the Navy for use in airborne refueling and surveillance.

    According to reports, the MQ-25 Stingray is being incorporated into aircraft carrier aviation operations. The drone's software data communication links and electro-optical camera underwent testing in April.

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