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Boeing, Navy Conduct First MQ-25 Unmanned Tanker Test Flight

Jeff Brody

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the U.S. Navy completed the initial flight test of the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling platform. The company said Thursday that its test pilots at a ground control station at an airport in Mascoutah, Ill., evaluated the takeoff, taxi and other flight functions of the drone test asset, dubbed T1, during the two-hour test flight.

“This aircraft and its flight test program ensures we’re delivering the MQ-25 to the carrier fleet with the safety, reliability and capability the U.S. Navy needs to conduct its vital mission,” said Dave Bujold, MQ-25 program director at Boeing.

In August 2018, Boeing won a potential $805 million contract to build four MQ-25 carrier-based drones for the Navy. The unmanned aircraft is designed to increase the range of the military branch’s deployed fighter jets through its refueling capability.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an experimental airworthiness certificate to the T1 test asset in September.

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