Boeing has announced it has been awarded a USD 847 million contract by the US Navy (USN) for three additional MQ-25A Stingray unmanned in-flight refuelling tankers, the company said.
The order brings the total number of aircraft in the MQ-25A program to seven.
The order establishes uninterrupted production of the first MQ-25 aircraft and lines up with the Navy´s MQ-25 test and training plans for fleet introduction.
On August 30, 2018, the US Navy awarded Boeing a USD 805 million contract to build the MQ-25, the Navy´s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft.
MQ-25 is designed to provide the US Navy with a refueling capability, allowing 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.
Under the engineering and manufacturing development contract, Boeing will provide four aircraft.
Flight testing is paused on the MQ-25A at the moment as Boeing installs an aerial refueling store under the left wing of the T1 UAV. The company is doing tests on its own aircraft in order to gather data faster and prepare the aircraft to move quickly toward production. Boeing said it plans to start delivering engineering, manufacturing and development examples of the aircraft to the USN in 2021.