Boeing Unveils New Autonomous Aircraft for Aerial Refuelling

Boeing developed a new aircraft for the U.S. Navy. The MQ-25 will extend the combat range of deployed fighters.
Jessica Miley

Boeing is showing off its new unmanned aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25. The MQ-25 will offer aerial refueling capabilities to extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. 

Boeing says the MQ-25 is a sharp combination of ‘refueling, autonomy, and seamless carrier deck integration’. The MQ-25 was designed to meet the needs of the Navy who were keen to put a low-cost unmanned aerial refueling aircraft on the flight deck as soon as possible.

Boeing says the next step for the drone will be integration with an EMD-ready unmanned tanker. They claim they are waiting for the contract award and will be ready to fly shortly after.

The unmanned aircraft has aesthetics that wouldn’t be out of place in a Star Wars film. Its low profile design is punctured by a sharp wing design.

Details are sketchy about how much fuel the vehicle can carry or how exactly it integrates with deployed fighters.

Boeing has been a long time collaborator with the Navy, supplying them with parts and planes for more than 90 years.

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