MQ-25 integration takes ‘early step forward’ in carrier test
Using a remote-controlled system, the USN and Boeing have successfully manoeuvred an MQ-25 Stingray test UAV on an aircraft carrier for the first time.
A demonstration aboard USS George H.W. Bush marked ‘an early step forward’ in ensuring the MQ-25 unmanned tanker aircraft will seamlessly integrate into carrier operations, Boeing announced on 20 December.
In the demonstration, a Boeing MQ-25 operator aboard the aircraft carrier commanded the UAV using a new handheld deck control device.
Manouevres included taxiing on the deck, connecting to the catapult, clearing the landing area and parking on the deck.
‘This is another significant step forward in demonstrating MQ-25’s integration into the Carrier Air Wing on the flight deck of our Fleet’s aircraft carriers,’ said Capt Chad Reed, USN programme manager for unmanned carrier aviation.
The deck handling demonstration on USS George H.W. Bush followed a two-year flight test campaign for the Boeing-owned T1 test aircraft. In this period, Boeing and the USN refuelled F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-2D Hawkeye and F-35C Lightning II carrier-based aircraft.
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