Boeing Advances Manned-Unmanned Teaming Software for U.S. Navy with F/A-18, MQ-25 Integration

The company demonstrated F/A-18 pilot control of an unmanned MQ-25 for refueling using existing communications links.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 09:31 AM, May 3, 2024
  • 559
Boeing Advances Manned-Unmanned Teaming Software for U.S. Navy with F/A-18, MQ-25 Integration

Boeing has advanced its manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) technology through recent testing involving a digital F/A-18 Super Hornet and MQ-25 Stingray.

The testing demonstrates the maturation of software intended for future use by the U.S. Navy, with potential deployment on both F/A-18 Block II and III Super Hornets.

During simulated testing in a lab environment, a Boeing-led team demonstrated an F/A-18 pilot commanding an unmanned MQ-25 to perform refueling tasks using existing communications links on both platforms.

The software used in these tests represents an evolution of previous Boeing efforts, incorporating upgraded functionalities and leveraging existing hardware and datalinks on the F/A-18 and MQ-25 platforms. This advancement highlights Boeing's readiness to deliver enhanced teaming capabilities to the Navy.

Alex Ewing, F/A-18 New Product Development lead at Boeing, explained that the software enables pilots to initiate commands directly from their cockpit, offering improved communication and operational flexibility during refueling operations.

Juan Cajigas, director of the Advanced MQ-25 program at Boeing, emphasized that the goal of the demonstrations was to make MUM-T refueling as realistic as possible, enabling a single pilot to direct activities safely and efficiently during aerial refueling operations.

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