Boeing has unveiled its proposed unmanned aircraft offering for the U.S. Navy's MQ-25 carrier-based aerial refueling tanker drone program.
The company said Tuesday it has begun engine tests on its proposed unmanned aerial system in preparation for deck handling demonstrations in 2018.
“We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded,“ said Don “BD” Gaddis, a retired Navy admiral and head of the refueling system program for Boeing's Phantom Works business.
The Navy's MQ-25 aircraft drone is designed to refuel Lockheed Martin-built F-35C, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and other fighter jets that operate aboard aircraft carriers in order to extend their combat range.
The service branch released in October the final request for proposals and plans to close the solicitation on Jan. 3.