Armed Forces News

An unmanned aircraft capable of taking off and landing from the same flight deck someday could refuel carrier-based Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. The Boeing Company prominently displayed a model of the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling aircraft extending a line to an F/A-18 Super Hornet at the Navy League of the United States’ Sea-Air-Space exhibition in Oxon Hill, Md., April 9-12. Boeing submitted its design in response to the Navy’s October request for proposal. The company stated on its web site that its entry into the MQ-25 competition would be about the same size as the Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35C Lightning II aircraft it could refuel in midair. The plane also would “seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems,” Boeing stated. A prototype of the plane is undergoing engine runs, in anticipation of deck-handling demonstrations scheduled for later this year.