The United States Navy is actively looking into a carrierborne aerial tanker aircraft of unmanned design - and the usual industry players have taken note.
The United States Navy (USN) has evolved their UCLASS requirement - a combat-capable, carrierbased unmanned attack system - to become an unmanned aerial tanker platform. Current contenders include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics (Northrop has removed itself from the running). A design decision is expected before the end of 2018 and the service expects to procure in the neighborhood of seventy-two air vehicles for the unmanned fuel delivery role. Below are all of the current and formaer contenders in the program. There are a total of [ 4 ] MQ-25 Stingray Competition entries in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator.
PROGRAM UPDATE: The United States Navy has selected Boeing as the winner of the MQ-25 Stingray competition. A contract covering four vehicles will be issued initially with deliveries of the MQ-25A developmental form to happen in 2020. A first-flight will take place in 2021 and service entry is scheduled for the early part of 2024.
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