The MQ-25 unmanned carrier-based test aircraft comes in for landing after its first flight Sept. 19 at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Ill. The Boeing-owned test asset, known as T1, flew two hours to validate the aircraft's basic flight functions and operations. (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

Navy, Boeing complete first MQ-25 test flight

News Release, NAVAIR News

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–The Navy and Boeing successfully completed the first test flight of the MQ-25™,  the first operational carrier-based unmanned refueling aircraft Sept. 19 from MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois.\

The Boeing-owned MQ-25 test asset, known as T1, completed an FAA-certified autonomous taxi, take-off and flew a pre-determined flight route for a two-hour flight to validate the aircraft’s basic flight functions and operations.

“Today’s flight is an exciting and significant milestone for our program and the Navy,” said the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation (PMA-268) Program Manager Capt. Chad Reed. “The flight of this test asset two years before our first MQ-25 arrives represents the first big step in a series of early learning opportunities that are helping us progress toward delivery of a game-changing capability for the carrier air wing and strike group commanders.”

Testing will continue with T1 over the next several years to further early learning and discovery that advances major systems and software development in support of the program’s 2024 initial operational capability (IOC) target. The company will deliver the Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft beginning in the fiscal year 2021.

The MQ-25A Stingray will be the world’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft, designed to provide an aerial refueling capability. Integration of the Stingray into the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) will increase the number of F/A-18E/Fs available for strike fighter missions and extend the range of the CVW, improving its performance, efficiency and safety.

MQ-25 is a Navy Maritime Accelerated Acquisition (MAA) program, aiming to deliver mission-critical capabilities to the fleet as rapidly as possible to meet warfighter needs. The Navy awarded Boeing an $805.3 million Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) contract for the MQ-25 on August 30, 2018.

Read previous stories on the MQ-25:

NAS Pax River breaks ground on MQ-25 Integrated Test Team Hangar

Navy awards contract to build MQ-25 hangar at Pax River

Navy awards Boeing $805.3 million contract to design, build MQ-25A Stingray


Join our email list!

Join our email list! Email subscribers may receive subscriber-only discounts, news, and tips. We only send out an email newsletter twice a month! Thank you!

David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in Digital Marketing, eventually leading him back to his passion. David started The Southern Maryland Chronicle in December 2017 and has grown it to become the #1 news source in Southern Maryland.

David M. Higgins II has 10968 posts and counting. See all posts by David M. Higgins II