(20 Aug 2021)
The U.S. Navy and Boeing completed a
second carrier-based aircraft unmanned refueling mission with the
Boeing-owned MQ-25 T1 test asset earlier this week, refueling a Navy
E-2D Hawkeye command and control aircraft.
During the test
flight from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport on 18 August, pilots from
the Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-20 conducted a
successful wake survey behind MQ-25 T1 to ensure performance and
stability before making contact with T1’s aerial refueling drogue.
The E-2D received fuel from T1’s aerial refueling store during the
“Once operational the MQ-25 will refuel every
receiver-capable platform, including E-2,” said Capt. Chad Reed,
the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager. “This flight
keeps us on a fast track to getting the Stingray out to the fleet
where its refueling capability will greatly increase the range and
operational flexibility of the carrier air wing and strike group.”
The MQ-25 Stingray will be assigned to the carrier airborne
early warning squadron within the carrier air wing, which
currently operates the E-2 C/D aircraft – known as the “digital
quarterback” of the fleet for its role in joint battle management
and command and control.
“It was another great flight
showing that our MQ-25 design is performing to plan,” said Dave
Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 program director. “These historic refueling
flights provide an incredible amount of data we feed back into the
MQ-25 digital models to ensure the aircraft we’re producing will
be the Navy’s game-changer for the carrier air wing.”
is the second aerial refueling mission the MQ-25 team has
conducted this summer. On 4 June, the MQ-25 T1 test asset became
first unmanned aircraft to refuel another aircraft, a U.S.
Navy Super Hornet.
Boeing is currently manufacturing the first two of
seven MQ-25 test aircraft and two ground test articles currently
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