Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray Takes First Flight

Naval aviation plays a vital role in keeping America safe.

That’s why we’re excited about the first test flight of the MQ-25 Stingray, an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to refuel the Navy’s fighter aircraft.

On Sept. 19, Boeing and the U.S. Navy announced the MQ-25’s test flight from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois — a facility adjacent to Scott Air Force Base.

We won’t beat around the bush — this test flight is a big deal for the U.S. Navy.

Why does the Navy need the MQ-25?

When the Navy’s strike fighters need fuel during flight, an F/A-18 has to do the tanking — straining the Navy’s aircraft fleet and preventing the refueling F/A-18 from taking on other crucial missions.

The integration of the MQ-25 would make more F/A-18s available for strike fighter missions, increasing the capability of the U.S. Navy.

What are the next steps for the MQ-25?

Boeing and the Navy will build and test the MQ-25 Stingrays and plan to integrate them into the Navy’s fleet in 2024. It will be the historic first time an unmanned platform performs regular operations with the carrier air wing.

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