Lockheed Martin presented a concept prototype of flying unmanned tanker “Stingray” MQ-25. Competition for him will be similar projects of Boeing and General Atomics, disputing among themselves the right to contract with the U.S. Navy. The winner will be announced this summer.
MQ-25 is unmanned tanker, able to take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier with a catapult, and carry to 6.35 tonnes of jet fuel to a distance of 800 km, which will significantly expand the combat radius of fighters like the F/A18E/F and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter. For example, carrier-based fighter-bomber, the Super Hornet with a range of 725 km after refueling can increase it up to 1125 km.
Aerodynamic docilely scheme MQ-25 “flying wing” — like the strategic bomber b-2. The drone is compact and equipped with folding wings that is needed for all aircraft carrier-based aircraft.
Although the concept of MQ-25 does not involve the use of stealth technology, low profile of the drone indicates that a certain reticence during the flight he will have.
In the bow there will be cameras and sensors, through which a remote operator can remotely control the tanker drone. It is possible that in the future MQ-25 will establish some Autonomous systems, in particular to prevent collisions in the air and independent return to home.
Source — Popular Mechanics