Home Americas US Navy orders three more MQ-25 unmanned refueling aircraft

US Navy orders three more MQ-25 unmanned refueling aircraft

MQ-25 unmanned refueling aircraft
Photo: Boeing

The US Navy has ordered an additional three MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft from Boeing, bringing the total number of aircraft on order to seven.

The $84.7 million modification exercises options for three MQ-25 system demonstration test articles, and was an option identified in the original $805 million contract for four aircraft awarded in August 2018.

Boeing noted it has completed the first test flights of the MQ-25 test asset, T1. The carrier-based refueler completed nearly 30 hours in the air at various speeds and altitudes. The aircraft is now undergoing a planned modification that includes installation of an aerial refueling store (ARS) under the left wing. Flight testing with the ARS will resume later this year.

“We’re honored to have the navy’s confidence in our system design and performance that is evident from this additional order,” said Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 program director. “This order establishes uninterrupted production of the first MQ-25 aircraft and lines up with the navy’s MQ-25 test and training plans for fleet introduction.”

Also known as Stingray, the MQ-25 is designed to deliver an organic refueling capability to extend the range of combat strike fighters and the aircraft carriers.

The system is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability by 2024.