Navy and Boeing Make Aviation History with MQ-25 Becoming First Unmanned Aircraft to Refuel Another Aircraft | state

ST. LOUIS, June 7, 2021 / PRNewswire / – For the first time in history, the US Navy and Boeing [NYSE: BA] demonstrated aerial refueling using an unmanned aircraft – the Boeing-owned MQ-25 T1 test asset – to refuel another aircraft.

During a test flight June 4, the MQ-25 T1 successfully extended the hose and drug from its US Navy-issued Air Refueling Store (ARS) and safely transferred jet fuel to an F / A-18 Super Hornet from the ‘US Navy, demonstrating the ability of the MQ-25 Stingray to perform its primary air-to-air refueling mission.

“This team of professionals was an integral part of the successful flight,” said Rear Admiral. Brian Corey, which oversees the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Program Executive Office. “Over the next few years, we will be working side-by-side with Boeing to provide this capability which will significantly improve the carrier’s future air wing.”

“This historic event is a credit to our joint Boeing and Navy team who strive to deliver the MQ-25 critical aerial refueling capability to the fleet as soon as possible,” said Leanne Caret, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Espace & Sécurité. “Their work is the driving force behind the safe and secure integration of unmanned systems into the immediate future of defense operations.”

During the first part of the flight, the F / A-18 test pilot flew in close formation behind the MQ-25 to ensure performance and stability before refueling – a maneuver that required as little as 20 feet of separation between the MQ-25 T1 aerial vehicle and the F / A-18 refueling probe. Both aircraft were flying at operationally relevant speeds and altitudes. Once the assessment was safely completed, the MQ-25 sea anchor was extended and the F / A-18 pilot moved to “tune in” to the unmanned aircraft and receive the fuel dump. planned.

Milestone comes after 25 T1 flights, testing both aircraft and ARS aerodynamics across the flight envelope, as well as extensive in-flight refueling simulations using digital MQ models -25. The MQ-25 T1 will continue flight tests before being shipped to Norfolk, Virginia, for deck handling trials aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier later this year.

The Boeing-owned T1 test asset is a predecessor of the seven test planes Boeing is manufacturing under contract award in 2018. The MQ-25 will assume the tank role currently played by F / A -18, allowing better use of combat fighters and helping to extend the range of the aircraft carrier’s air squadron.

For more information on Boeing Defense, Space & Security, visit Follow us on twitter: @BoeingDefense and @BoeingSpace.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and the leading supplier of commercial aircraft, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As America’s leading exporter, the company supports commercial and government clients in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to be at the forefront of technology and innovation, to deliver to its customers and to invest in its people and future growth.

MQ-25 is a registered trademark of the Ministry of the Navy.


Ashlee Erwin

Boeing Defense, Space and Security

+1 314-239-9944

[email protected]

Justin gibson

Boeing Defense, Space and Security

+1 314-708-6293

[email protected]

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