Boeing and the US Navy conducted ground tests of the MQ-25 Stingray tank drone at Norfolk Chambers Field Naval Base in Virginia, United States.
After completing several refueling tests this year, which includes an F-35C Lightning II fighter and an E-2D Hawkeye command and control aircraft, the MQ-25 T1 test equipment developed by Boeing will go for evaluation. of its deck handling capacity. .
The drone’s behavior was tested with painted lines on the runway at Chambers Field to simulate a load-bearing bridge environment.
“The Stingray is the future of naval aviation. It is the first carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ”said Rear Admiral John Meier, Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic. “Ground testing is another step towards combining manned and unmanned aircraft platforms. Integrating platforms like the MQ-25 into the air wing will increase their lethality and range.
A live test aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier is scheduled for December 2012.
Born from the remnants of the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program, which was canceled due to budget constraints, the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBAR) aims to provide an innovative solution to refueling missions.
The drone will replace the F / A-18 fighters currently assigned to this role, with 20-30% of their flight time currently spent on refueling missions. The MQ-25 will allow the US Navy to preserve the life of Super Hornets.