The US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle and F-35C Lightning II aircraft performed air to air refueling.
With the test carried out at an altitude of 10,000 feet at a speed of 225 knots, the F-35C became the third aircraft to perform air to air refueling with the MQ-25 unmanned aerial vehicle.
The MQ-25, which had previously performed air to air refueling with F/A-18 Super Hornet and E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. With the addition of the F-35C, the MQ-25 has performed air to air refueling with all of the fixed-wing aircraft serving in aircraft carrier task groups.
The MQ-25 is planned to be deployed on Nimitz class and Gerard R. Ford class aircraft carriers in the future.
It is envisaged that the UAV will take on air-to-air refueling duties from F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft. In this way, the fuselage life of the Super Hornets will be extended and the number of aircraft that can be used in combat missions will increase.
After the S-3Bs were decommissioned, F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft started to perform air to air refueling in naval missions.