Boeing unveiled today for the first time an image of its MQ-25 Stingray offering, which it said is completing "engine runs" before deck handling demonstrations early next year.
The Navy is seeking an unmanned tanker to refuel the F/A-18 Super Hornet, E/A-18G Growler and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter. Proposals are due Jan. 3.
The service determined only four companies were eligible to bid for the competition: Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The chief of naval operations personally met with all four companies during the requirements development process.
However, Northrop Grumman announced in October it does not intend to bid on the Stingray program.
Chris Raymond, who oversees Boeing's autonomous systems business within the company's defense group, last month praised the Navy's acquisition approach for the MQ-25 program, noting the company wants to have "absolute clarity" on the requirements to make its bid affordable.
"That drives a lot of back and forth when you're at that point of the process," Raymond said.