Boeing MQ-25 Drone Completes It’s Second Successful Air-To-Air Refueling With An E-2D
The United States Navy has completed its second successful air-to-air refueling with Boeing’s MQ-25 drone. This demonstration took place in the MidAmerica Airport in Illinois. This time Boeing’s MQ-25 refueling drone could complete a successful mid-air refueling with Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
What is E-2D Hawkeye?
The Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American tactical airborne early warning and control aircraft. The first flight of this aircraft took place on the 21st of October 1964 and was first introduced in 1960. United states navy is the primary user of this aircraft and up to now 88 E-2Ds have been built.
The latest E-2 version is the E-2D advanced hawkeye and it is upgraded with whole new avionics. This version also includes AN/APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, a glass cockpit, and aerial refueling.
Refueling E-2D with the drone
According to the Navy’s statement, the US navy aircraft approached the drone and established the necessary formations needed for the refueling. Two aircraft maintained a knot calibrated airspeed (KCAS) at 220 knots and an altitude of 10,000 feet.
This is not the first time that an MQ-25 drone has done a mid-air refueling of a US navy aircraft. They recently completed the first successful air-to-air refueling with a F/A-18 Super Hornet. You can watch that video here!
The MQ-25 is the Navy’s new unmanned aircraft which can also operate from a deck of an aircraft carrier. Designing and production of this aerial tanker were awarded to Boeing back in 2018. Other than the refueling missions, the Navy also looking to overcome the shortfall of their strike fighters.
Capt. Chad Reed, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager said that “Once operational, the MQ-25 will refuel every receiver-capable platform including E-2. This flight keeps us on a fast track to getting the Stingray out to the fleet where its refueling capability will greatly increase the range and operational flexibility of the carrier air wing and strike group.”
Photo credits and more: navy.mil