Boeing will build the U.S. Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 aerial refueller, through a newly awarded $805 million contract.
Boeing was awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft. Boeing plans to perform the MQ-25 work in St. Louis.
MQ-25 is designed to provide the US Navy with a refuelling capability. According to the US Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & 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.”