According to the US Navy Aviation System Command, the US Navy and Boeing Company conducted ground testing on MQ-25A "Sting" carrier oil machine in the Virginian Norfolk Navy Base, preparing for its first shipping test . Inheriting the X-47B related technology MQ-25A Shipborne Carton, a US Navy "Shipborne Unmanned Air Crease" project, his predecessor is "Shipborne Unmanned Air Monitoring and Blow System" project, the latter aims to develop a The carrier unattended and combating drones used to perform marine scout, attack and suppress combat tasks.
In 2007, the design plan of Nosrop Grumman won the "Shipborne Unmanned Air Monitoring and Blow System" project contract. In the following years, the X-47B drones under the project have completed the self-sufficiency and landing of the ship, and the air refueling and other key technologies were completed, and the transport of the shipped unmanned combat aircraft technology was mature.
However, affected by factors such as defense budget restrictions, the project finally undergone.
In 2016, the United States and National Defense Office officially decided to adjust the "Shipborne Unmanned Air Monitoring and Blow System" project to "Ship-up Unmanned Air Crease System" project, number MQ-25, nickname "sting". The project has developed faster due to the maturity of X-47B drones.
Since this year, the MQ-25A carrier fuel collector has completed the air refueling test of F / A-18 "Super Hornet" fighters, E-2D "Eagle" air early warning machine and F-35C stealth fighter, for the next step – Unmanned flight platform works the foundation. Improve the aircraft carrier formation capability MQ-25A carrier gas drum adopts Rawls Royce AE-3007N turntile engine, maximum takeoff weight of 20 tons. Due to the cancel cockpit and bulge, the airborne oil can be toned, and it can refuel the multi-fighter in the sea area of ??930 kilometers from the aircraft carrier to expand the radius of the carrier machine. Taking the F / A-18 fighter as an example, the operation radius of the machine is 735 kilometers, with the assistance of the MQ-25A carrier oil machine, its combat radius is expected to extend to 1300 kilometers, further expand the aircraft carrier formation, Interception and anti-submarine regions enable the formation commander to flexibly choose a combat plan. In the future, with the use and ability to use the carrier unmanified oil, there is a fuelier that is currently using the shipping machine will gradually exit the task sequence. According to reports, the current US Navy F / A-18 fighters 20% to 30% of the outbads are used in air refueling. The US Navy hopes that after the MQ-25A carrier oil machine is put into use, it will make the F / A-18 fighter to perform combat tasks, and then improve the combat capacity of the aircraft carrier formation. Self-disadvantage is clearly seen, MQ-25A carrier oil machine still has many problems.
For example, the airborne oil is only half of the f / A-18 fighter oil, but the gap is still larger than the refueling demand of the US military operation task. In addition, when performing an oil task, the communication between the MQ-25A carrier oil machine and the oiling machine is provided by the ground control system.
Once the communication is disturbed, it will directly affect the completion of the oil task.
Finally, the MQ-25A carrier oil machine belongs to the oral airplane, the flight speed is slower, once the stealth radar is locked, it is difficult to avoid the attacks of various missiles, hit, the probability of destroying is high, and will also be affected The machine is placed in the risk.