16:44 GMT +318 June 2019
Listen Live
    Boeing MQ-25A

    Boeing Offers Peek at Next-Generation US Navy Drone Prototype

    © Boeing
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    4619

    Boeing has unveiled a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle intended to serve as a mid-air refueler for US Navy aircraft.

    The futuristic MQ-25A "Stingray" unmanned aerial vehicle program is closing in on an important January 3, 2018, deadline, when defense firms are required to present their responses to the US Navy's request for proposals sent out in October 2017.

    The Navy has asked for a refueling aircraft to extend the combat range of F/A-18 Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers and F-35C joint strike fighters that fly from their many aircraft carriers.

    "Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years," Don Gaddis said in a December 19 news release. Gaddis, a retired admiral, now works at Boeing's Phantom
    Works technology wing.

    "Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach," Gaddis noted, adding that Boeing will "be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded."

    RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle conducts tests over Naval Air Station Patuxent River
    © AP Photo / Northrop Grumman via U.S. Navy, Erik Hildebrandt

    Between 20 and 30 percent of the F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet is relegated to flying refueling missions, even though they were built for "fighter" and "attack" missions, hence the "F/A" designation. The Stingray UAV would free them of those duties.

    Three companies are poised to compete for the MQ-25A contract: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics. Northrop Grumman intended to submit a bid before announcing in late October that the company would be dropping out of the competition.

    Related:

    Northrop Grumman Drops Stingray Drone Bid
    US Police Target Poor, Black Neighborhoods With Secret Stingray Surveillance
    Four Firms to Compete to Build Pentagon’s Future Stingray Drone
    Hundreds of ‘Stingray’ Fake Cell Towers Spy on Unsuspecting Americans
    US Police Departments Trying to Keep “Stingray” Use Under Wraps
    Tags:
    EA-18G Growler, F-35C, f/a-18, aircraft carrier, drone, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, US Navy
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik