Air Platforms

General Atomics to partner with Boeing on MQ-25 Stingray

13 February 2018
An artist's impression of what a GA-ASI Sea Avenger-based offering for the US Navy's MQ-25 Stingray requirement might look like. Source: GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) is to team with Boeing on its MQ-25 Stingray offering to the US Navy (USN), the company announced on 12 February.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer said it will collaborate with Boeing Autonomous Systems on the MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Carrier Aviation Air System (UCAAS) competition.

"Boeing Autonomous Systems is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with General Atomics on its MQ-25 proposal,” Boeing Autonomous Systems Vice-President and General Manager Chris Raymond was quoted as saying, adding, “We look forward to supporting GA-ASI with our aviation and autonomous experience.”

Along with Boeing, GA-ASI announced the full industrial line-up for its MQ-25 offering, which will include Pratt & Whitney (providing the PW815 engine); UTC Aerospace Systems (landing gear); L3 Technologies (communication systems); BAE Systems (software, including mission planning and cybersecurity); Rockwell Collins (navigation systems, networked communications, and a simulation framework to help de-risk the programme); and GKN Aerospace’s Fokker (landing gear technologies and arrestor hook). Further to external industrial participation, GA-ASI will leverage its own General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and General Atomics Systems Integration units for the effort.

While GA-ASI did not disclose details of its MQ-25 offering beyond its industrial partners, it is believed to be based on a marinised version of its Avenger (Predator C) UAV, known as the Sea Avenger.

Billed as the successor to the aborted Unmanned Carrier-Launched Aerial Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) programme, the MQ-25 Stingray will instead be a ship-launched aerial refuelling platform under the USN's Carrier-Based Airborne Refueling System (CBARS) requirement. In addition to its tanking role, the MQ-25 will be equipped for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in permissive airspace. Initial operating capability (IOC) for the selected system is slated for the mid-2020s.

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