"Aviation history!": U.S. Navy uses drone to refuel in midair for first time

·1 min read

The U.S. Navy has used a drone to refuel a fighter jet in midair for the "first time ever," according to a statement.

Why it matters: The test shows that drones can now be used for tasks beyond reconnaissance missions or shooting targets, freeing up the Navy's costly crewed fighter jets for other operations.

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The big picture: The Boeing-made MQ-25 Stingray drone connected to the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet via hose and transferred fuel to the fighter while flying over the Midwest last Friday, according to Monday's statement.

What they're saying: Rear Adm. Brian Corey who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, said in a statement the MQ-25 "will greatly increase the range and endurance of the future carrier air wing — equipping our aircraft carriers with additional assets well into the future."

  • Rear Adm. Brian Corey, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, said in Boeing's statement that over the next few years, "we will work side-by-side with Boeing to deliver this capability that will greatly enhance the future carrier air wing."

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