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Boeing tests new MQ-25 Stingray software for crewed-uncrewed teaming

1st May 2024 - 16:10 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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The MQ-25 Stingray is a carrier-based, long-endurance UAS that was designed to conduct aerial refuelling as a primary mission and provide ISR capability as a secondary mission. (Photo: Boeing)

The new software was said to significantly reduce the time it takes for an F/A-18 to communicate with an MQ-25.

Boeing has carried out updates and new tests with its crewed-uncrewed (also known as manned-unmanned or MUM-T) technology using a digital F/A-18 Super Hornet and MQ-25 Stingray.

The testing showed, Boeing claimed, that the software was maturing for future US Navy use and had the potential to deploy the teaming capability on both F/A-18 Block II and III Super Hornets.

In a simulator lab, a Boeing-led team virtually demonstrated an F/A-18 pilot commanding an MQ-25 UAS to release a refuelling drogue and refuel the Super Hornet, using existing communications links on both platforms.

In addition to the upgraded software, test teams pulled in hardware and datalinks already installed on both platforms to run the finalised software.

“MQ-25 is designed to typically receive commands from air vehicle pilots on an aircraft carrier. This software will add a second option, enabling pilots to initiate commands right from their cockpit,” said Alex Ewing, F/A-18 new product development lead at Boeing.

The software will significantly reduce the time it takes for an F/A-18 to communicate with an MQ-25, giving pilots greater flexibility in refuelling from longer distances, Boeing claimed.

The Shephard News Team

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