$805 Million Engineering & Development Contract for Four Airframes
Boeing announced on 30 August it has won a contract to build the US Navy’s (USN) first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 STINGRAY aerial refueller.
The engineering and manufacturing development contract, valued at $805 million, calls for Boeing to provide four aircraft. STINGRAY is designed to provide the USN with a much-needed refuelling capability, which the Navy asserts will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed F/A-18 SUPER HORNET, EA-18G GROWLER, and F-35C LIGHTNING II aircraft. The UAS will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
“As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the US Navy’s refuelling requirements,” explained Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO, Leanne Caret. “The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the Navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world.”