- Boeing just revealed its design for an autonomous plane that can refuel fighter jets in midair.
- The design is part of a competition held by the US Navy.
- Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray would be able to extend the range of a fighter jet by up to 400 miles, according to a GeekWire report.
- Boeing is competing with Lockheed Martin and General Atomics for the contract.
Boeing just revealed an autonomous plane that can refuel fighter jets in midair, possibly extending their range by up to 400 miles, according to a GeekWire report.
The MQ-25 Stingray is Boeing’s entry in a competition held by the US Navy for self-flying aircraft that can refuel fighter planes like the Boeing EA-18G Growler, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin F-35C. Boeing will have to beat out Lockheed Martin and General Atomics to win the contract, which is expected to be announced in September 2018.
“Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years,” Don ‘BD’ Gaddis, who is leading Boeing’s efforts to make refueling aircraft, said in a statement on the company’s website. “Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach. We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded.”
The MQ-25 Stingray can carry 15,000 pounds of fuel at a range of up to 500 miles. Boeing is testing the aircraft’s engine before moving on to more comprehensive tests in 2018.
Winning the US Navy contract would be good news for Boeing, as the company was recently beat out by Airbus on a $25 billion sale to Delta.