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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Boeing to develop unmanned refueling drones for US Navy

Boeing is charged with everything from designing and producing to delivering and servicing four “MQ-25A Stingray” drones, which will enter service in 2024, the US Navy said in a statement.

world Updated: Aug 31, 2018 10:31 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Washington
The Pentagon is the US defense department  headquarters.
The Pentagon is the US defense department headquarters. (Shutterstock )
         

The Pentagon announced Thursday it had awarded US aerospace giant Boeing an $805 million contract to develop the first unmanned refueling drones for the United States Navy.

Boeing is charged with everything from designing and producing to delivering and servicing four “MQ-25A Stingray” drones, which will enter service in 2024, the Navy said in a statement.

The drones -- named after their stingray silhouette -- will be launched from aircraft carriers, greatly expanding US aircrafts’ range and mission capability.

“This is an historic day,” said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral 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 air wing - all at relevant speed.”

Boeing had to fight off General Atomics and Lockheed Martin for the contract. If the four aircraft meet requirements, the contract could be expanded to $13 billion for 72 drones, the Pentagon said.

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 10:31 IST

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