Boeing, an aerospace and defense manufacturing company, has been awarded an $805 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to design, build and deliver four MQ-25A Stingray drones. The unmanned drones are used to refuel aircraft for the U.S. Navy.
“As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the U.S. 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.”
The Navy published a request for proposals in 2017 that sought a drone that could refuel, and extend the combat range, of fighter jets including Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, Boeing EA-18G Growlers and Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters. Boeing beat out Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Atomics for the contract.
“This is an historic day,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. “We will look back on this day and recognize that this event represents a dramatic shift in the way we define warfighting requirements, work with industry, integrate unmanned and manned aircraft, and improve the lethality of the airwing — all at relevant speed. Everyone who helped achieve this milestone should be proud we’re here. But we have a lot more to do. It’s not the time to take our foot off the gas. Let’s keep charging.”
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