After a months-long competition, Boeing has won a $805.3 million contract from the U.S. Navy to build the first four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles.
In a statement released on 30 August, Boeing has announced that company is awarded a $805,318,853 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract to provide the design, development, fabrication, test, verification, certification, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles, including integration into the carrier air wing to provide an initial operational capability to the U.S. Navy.
The statement added that the work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Quebec, Canada; Palm Bay, Florida; San Diego, California; and various locations inside and outside the continental U.S., and is expected to be completed in August 2024.
“As a company, we made an investment in both our team and in an unmanned aircraft system that meets the U.S. Navy’s refueling requirements,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “The fact that we’re already preparing for first flight is thanks to an outstanding team who understands the Navy and their need to have this important asset on carrier decks around the world.”
Boeing was in competition for the contract with two teams that were led by Lockheed Martin and General Atomics. Northrop Grumman was invited to submit a bid, but dropped out of the competition last October.
MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refueling capability. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 Stingray will allow for better use of combat strike fighters by extending the range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C aircraft. MQ-25 will also seamlessly integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch and recovery systems.
Over the years to come, the U.S. Navy is expected to buy as many as 72 of the carrier-based unmanned aircraft with an estimated total price tag of as much as $13 billion.