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MQ-25A Will First Fly (if ever) From the USS Eisenhower and USS Bush First

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posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 04:42 PM

USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) will be the first two carriers to field the Navy’s MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial refueling tanker, a spokesperson told USNI News.

The two carriers will receive upgrades to include the control stations and data links needed to control the tanker, Naval Air Systems Command spokeswoman Jamie Cosgrove told USNI News.

Bush was the first carrier to have an unmanned aerial vehicle to perform an arrested landing on its flight deck in 2013 in a test of the Northrop Grumman X-47B UAV.

It’s unclear when the Norfolk-based carriers will be upgraded, but several sources have told USNI News that Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson intends to accelerate the deployment of the Stingray and get it on carrier decks as early as 2019.

The aircraft is in high-demand because it would help alleviate the burden on the carrier air wing’s current refueling aircraft: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of Super Hornet sorties are used for refueling missions, USNI News has previously reported.

A Navy spokesperson told USNI News on Monday the program was “too pre-decisional” to comment on the operational introduction of the MQ-25A tanker.

Sorry for the snark in the title.

That said, I sense some factionalism here. The one stating by 2019. The other saying don't know when, but how about...never?

It's sad. The carriers have the space for the tankers and NEED them badly, but they're screwing around. Again.

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 05:14 PM
a reply to: anzha

Considering they won't even award the contract until next year, there's no way in hell they could even consider making 2019.

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 05:51 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Unless it belongs on the Flying List, I agree. 2019? WTH.

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 08:24 PM
Didnt the X47B prototypes get taken out of storage and sent back for modifications?

posted on Jun, 12 2017 @ 08:27 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger

The X-47B was a proof of concept for UAVs on the flight deck, to prove they'd work. They were sent back to Northrop for them to use for future experiments.

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