Navy Looks to Leverage MQ-25 Aerial Refueling Drone for Long-Range Missions

Navy Looks to Leverage MQ-25 Aerial Refueling Drone for Long-Range Missions
MQ-25A Stingray

The U.S. Navy has completed a force structure assessment and found that the service branch needs to invest in long-range aircraft to support its future carrier air wing operations

Rear Adm. Greg Harris, director of air warfare at the Navy, told attendees at a recent virtual event that the service’s procurement of Boeing-built MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial refueling aircraft could help the carrier air wing prevent emerging extended-range threats from adversaries, Defense News reported Sunday.

He added that MQ-25 “adds lethality to the carrier strike group” while supporting teaming operations with fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets.

“We just finished a future naval force structure study that looked very specifically at the carrier air wing, and throughout that study the folks who were working with us challenged us to operate farther and farther away from the threat, with the assumption that threat systems were going to prevent us from being able to operate from inside certain ranges,” said Harris.

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