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The Boeing drone is loading a Navy fighter jet for the first time



In partnership with the aerospace company Boeing, the US Navy successfully for the first time successfully performed air loading with an unmanned aircraft.

The service branch said Monday that the unprecedented achievement of the MQ-25 program took place on June 4 at MidAmerica Airport in Maskuta, Illinois.

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The Navy F / A-18 Super Hornet receiver approached the Boeing MQ-25 T1 Stingray drone and assessed the formation, wake-up study, drug tracking and “on” with the aircraft.

The fuel was then transferred from the test drone from the Navy-issued Air Refueling Store (ARS) to the fighter.

The maneuver required only 20 feet of distance between the drone and the F / 1

-18.

The Navy said progress showed that the MQ-25 could fulfill its mission on the tanker using the Navy’s standard air refueling and probe method.

The Unmanned Aerial and Strikes Weapons Program will now continue to test the drone to include aspects such as flight extensions, engine testing and demonstration of aircraft manipulations.

Test flight data is set to be analyzed to determine if any adjustments are needed.

The test asset of the Boeing MQ-25 T1 transferred fuel to the US Navy F / A-18 Super Hornet on June 4, noting for the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft had refueled another aircraft.  The MQ-25 Stingray will take on the carrier-based role of tanks currently performed by the F / A-18, allowing better use of combat strikers and helping to expand the range of the carrier's air wing.  (Photo: Kevin Flynn)

The test asset of the Boeing MQ-25 T1 transferred fuel to the US Navy F / A-18 Super Hornet on June 4, noting for the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft had refueled another aircraft. The MQ-25 Stingray will take on the carrier-based role of tanks currently performed by the F / A-18, allowing better use of combat strikers and helping to expand the range of the carrier’s air wing. (Photo: Kevin Flynn)

According to Boeing, the “cornerstone” comes after 25 test flights of the MQ-25 T1, in addition to “extensive” air charging simulations.

The drone is to be sent to Norfolk, Virginia, for naval deck testing later this year.

In the future, the fleet said that the MG-25A Stingray will be the world’s “isthe first operational drone based on a carrier [and] provide critical airborne and reconnaissance, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities that significantly expand the global range, operational flexibility and lethality of the air wing and carrier strike group. “

Boeing received a contract for the production of the aircraft in 2018, which, according to the Navy, is crucial for its unmanned campaign.

“This is our mission, an unmanned aircraft that frees our strikers from the role of tanker and gives the Carrier Air Wing greater range, flexibility and capability,” said Captain Chad Reed, manager of the Navy’s drone program office. said in a statement. “The vision of the MQ-25, performing its main task today, powered by F / A-18, is an important and exciting moment for the Navy and shows concrete progress towards realizing the capabilities of the MQ-25 for the fleet.”

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“This story-making event is a tribute to our joint Boeing-Navy team, which is committed to providing the Navy with the ability to air-load the MQ-25 as soon as possible,” said Leanne Caret, President and CEO of Boeing Defense. , Space And Security, the statement said. “Their job is the driving force behind the secure and secure integration of unmanned systems in the immediate future of defense operations.”


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