Aircraft carrier Bush conducts first maritime MQ-25 unmanned tanker demonstration

Watch the US Navy demo of the MQ-25A prototype on board the aircraft carrier George HW Bush in December 2021. (US Navy)

Washington — aircraft carrier George HW Bush unveils the future of naval aviation, hosting the Navy’s first MQ-25A Stingray unmanned tanker for a maritime demonstration and conducting the carrier’s first F-35C joint strike fighter flight. Did. operation.

Service announced on December 20 that it had completed a demonstration of an unmanned aerial vehicle, set up a ground control station on the ship, and proved that the UAV could be integrated into its carrier environment. Handlers, and ship-based operators whose drones are in the air and maintain connectivity while away from the carrier.

For demonstration purposes, a prototype MD-5 ground control station was set up at a location called the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle War Center. This is the first control room installed on an aircraft carrier to support the operation of the MQ-25. For news releases. This team in the control room coordinates the drone’s mission and approach to the ship during landing.

The Boeing-owned T1 test vehicle then operated day and night at sea, including taxiing and parking on the flight deck, connecting to catapults, and removing it from the landing area.

In addition to the control room team, the MQ-25’s “deck operator” will use Boeing’s handheld deck controls during these maneuvers and work with the Navy’s taxi director to direct the sailors to the MQ-25. Converted to the corresponding input.

“Early testing gave our team the opportunity to use the T1 to evaluate many new systems for the first time at sea,” said the Navy’s news release, an airline program manager at an unmanned airline. One Captain Chad Reed said. “The first look at the operation of a taxi on a flight deck has successfully demonstrated the MQ-25’s ability to maneuver like a manned aircraft in a shipboard environment.”

The T1 has not yet taken off or landed, but has tested the hardware and software associated with the joint precision landing system on board the aircraft carrier and amphibious assault ship on a surrogate aircraft to safely guide the F-35C and F-35B. Did. landing. The system will be integrated Not only for the MQ-25, but also for the Navy and Marine Corps variants of the V-22 Osprey.

“There is no better way to determine the success of a carrier-based aircraft design and integration into the wing and test the new aircraft at sea,” Reed said in a news release. “It’s an exciting time as we move forward towards the wing of the future.”

The MQ-25 will refuel other aircraft of this wing in the future, including the F / A-18E-F Super Hornet, F-35C, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and EA-18G Groller. Except for the MQ-25, the first of its “future wing” configurations Onboard carrier Carl Vinson In the Pacific Ocean.

Some other aircraft carriers have operated the F-35 so far, but Bush has not.this Spent 30 months with a deep maintenance period The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Virginia, left the shipyard in late August and has been conducting a variety of testing and fleet activities ever since.

On December 12, these activities included a carrier-qualified host of the Strike Fighter Squadron 125, an F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron training new Joint Strike Fighter pilots, and jets and their crew on board. I first scrutinized my abilities. Will bring it to their air wing.

Megan Eckstein is a Defense News naval warfare reporter. Since 2009, she has covered military news with a focus on US Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. She reports from four geographic fleets and is happiest when submitting a story from a ship. Megan is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/12/21/aircraft-carrier-bush-conducts-first-at-sea-mq-25-unmanned-tanker-demo/ Aircraft carrier Bush conducts first maritime MQ-25 unmanned tanker demonstration

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