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First Air to Air Refueling with an Unmanned Aircraft

An F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft belonging to the US Navy made a first in history by carrying out air-to-air fuel transfer with the Boeing-manufactured MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle.

With the test carried out on June 4, an important step was taken for the agreement signed by Boeing in 2018. Under the agreement worth approximately 800 million US dollars, the company would manufacture 4 MQ-25 Stingray tanker unmanned aerial vehicles for the US Navy. Stingray, which can carry approximately 7 tons of fuel, is designed to refuel F/A-18 Super Hornet, E/A-18 Growler and F-35C Lightning II aircraft.

The US Navy wants to purchase 76 Stingrays in total and shift some of the Super Hornet aircraft, which are currently used in tanker configuration on aircraft carriers, to combat missions.

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