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Boeing, Navy Fly MQ-25 UAS With Cobham-Built Refueling Pod

MQ-25 T1 test asset with an aerial refueling store
MQ-25 T1 test asset with, an aerial refueling store

The U.S. Navy and Boeing have tested the aerodynamics of an MQ-25 unmanned aircraft system with a Cobham-built aerial refueling store mounted on the vehicle wing structure.

Boeing said Wednesday its MQ-25 T1 test asset flew for 2.5 hours during the flight event that was managed through a ground control facility located at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Illinois.

The T1 aircraft functions as a predecessor to the carrier-based tanker model the company is building for the service branch as part of a six-year, $805.3M engineering and manufacturing development contract awarded in August 2018.

According to Boeing, the test article has logged about 30 hours of flight since its maiden voyage last year and was built to help the company lay the foundation for MQ-25 development and test efforts.

Capt. Chad Reed, program manager of unmanned carrier aviation at the U.S. Navy, said the ARS-equipped vehicle will undergo operational assessments with F/A-18 aircraft and carrier deck handling tests.

The company intends to further explore the UAS' aerodynamics before moving on to hose and drogue demonstrations.

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