Navy completes unmanned aerial refueling with MQ-25 and F-35C

By Audrey Decker / September 14, 2021 at 11:23 AM

The Navy's MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aircraft conducted an aerial refueling test with the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter on Monday, the service announced today.

This is the third refueling test for the Boeing-owned MQ-25 aircraft. This summer, the Stingray completed air-to-air refueling tests with the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The test took place at MidAmerican Airport in Mascoutah, IL, according to a press release.

"Conducting refueling test missions with various aircraft allows the program to analyze data and determine if any adjustments to guidance and control are required," the press release states.

In the future, the MQ-25 will refuel every capable carrier-based aircraft, according to the Navy.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday recently said the Stingray is the Navy's first charge into the carrier airwing of the future.

After this flight, the MQ-25 will enter a modification period "to integrate the deck handling system in preparation for a shipboard demonstration this winter," the press release states.