The U.S. Navy has asked General Atomics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to submit proposed concepts for a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling tanker through an updated draft request for proposals issued in July, USNI News reported Thursday.
The service branch plans to release the final RFP for the MQ-25A Stingray program in the fall of 2017 as it plans to award the engineering and manufacturing development contract in 2018.
Lockheed and Boeing have unveiled some images of their design concepts for the carrier-based drone, while General Atomics’ aeronautical systems business has not issued any artist concept for the Stingray program, the report noted.
David Alexander, president of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ aircraft systems unit, said the company’s design for the program is “optimized” for the service branch’s requirements.
“We are pretty happy with what we have,” Alexander added.