Capt. Andy Gibbons: Navy Begins MQ-25 UAV Integration With Aircraft Carriers

The U.S. Navy has started to integrate the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle with its aircraft carriers, C4ISRNET reported Tuesday.

Mark Pomerleau writes Capt. Andy Gibbons, program manager for carrier and air integration at program executive officer C4I, said that Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager for the unmanned carrier aviation program office, and his office have started to coordinate capability integration for MQ-25 with the service branch’s system commands such as the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and Naval Sea Systems Command.

Gibbons said he has begun to collaborate with the unmanned carrier aviation program office to advance carrier-based modernization programs in support of the deployment of the drone, which is designed to perform aerial refueling functions.

“We have to expand and ensure that the networking, the command and control, the ISR capabilities that we normally field are fielded in such a way that they all arrive in time for MQ-25. Right now we’re on [a] path to do that,” he told the publication Friday at the C5ISR Summit.

A spokeswoman for NAVAIR told C4ISRNET that the service branch will release a request for proposals for the MQ-25 platform and its requirements in the summer of 2017.

Northrop Grumman secured a contract in October to conduct risk reduction efforts for the Navy’s MQ-25 drone weeks after the service branch tapped General Atomics to provide similar services.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin were also awarded separate risk reduction contracts in September for the UAV.

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