Boeing unveiled Tuesday its entrant for US Navy's MQ-25 program, also known as the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS), designed to provide the navy with refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters.
The company announced in a press release that its unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations next year.
“Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years,” said Don ‘BD’ Gaddis, a retired admiral who leads the refueling system program for Boeing’s Phantom Works technology organization. “Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach. We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded.”
The Navy issued its final request for proposals in October seeking refueling options for its fighter jets operating from aircraft carriers. It has a requirement for 72 tanker drones and final proposals due on Jan. 3, 2018.