ST. LOUIS. Boeing will build the US Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, the MQ-25 aerial refueler, through an $805 million contract awarded August 30.
Boeing was awarded the engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide four aircraft. Boeing plans to perform the MQ-25 work in St. Louis.
“As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the US Navy’s refueling requirements,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
“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.”
MQ-25 is designed to provide the US Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the US Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Boeing has been providing carrier aircraft to the US Navy for more than 90 years.