in Defence

Boeing unveils UAS refueller for MQ-25 competition

Posted 19 December 2017 · Add Comment

Boeing for the first time is showing what it believes is the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) best suited for refuelling US Navy jets operating from aircraft carriers.

Above: Boeing’s MQ-25 unmanned aircraft system is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations next year. The aircraft is designed to provide the US Navy with refuelling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed  F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35C fighters.
Photo by Eric Shindelbower

Through its MQ-25 competition, the Navy is seeking unmanned refuelling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. The MQ-25 will also have to seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.

“Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years,” said Don ‘BD’ Gaddis, a retired admiral who leads the refuelling system programme for Boeing’s Phantom Works technology organisation. “Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach. We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded.”

The UAS is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations early next year.

The US Navy issued its final request for proposals in October. Proposals are due 3 January 2018.

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