Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray Tanker Drone Goes Aboard A Carrier For The First Time

MQ-25_DECK_TRIALSThe U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray carrier-based tanker drone demonstrator has gone aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time to begin deck-handling trials.

This is the latest in a string of milestones for the unmanned aircraft, which has so far this year conducted refueling tests with the F-35C Lightning II and F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighters and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye radar plane.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) posted a video montage of still images on Twitter today showing Boeing’s Stingray demonstrator, also known as T1, being craned aboard the Nimitz class USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) sometime this week.

The unmanned aircraft will not undergo flight testing from the carrier quite yet, but the Navy will begin to explore how the drones will be integrated onboard the ship, including moving them around on the elevators and in the hangar deck.

USS George H.W. Bush is the first of four Navy flattops set to be modified with the Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System, or UMCS, necessary to operate the MQ-25.

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