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Boeing Taps BAE for MQ-25 Stingray Management System Upgrade

BAE Systems has signed a deal with Boeing to equip the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueling drone with a new vehicle management system computer (VMSC).

The upgrade will see quad-core processors installed onto the aircraft, optimizing its size, weight, and power footprint and allowing for future capability growth and reduced operational costs.

The multi-core VMSC will replace multiple onboard computers while providing utility for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies.

“Our upgraded VMSC for the MQ-25 will deliver advanced functionality — enabling this platform to execute today and tomorrow’s critical missions, while also reducing the amount of hardware required on the aircraft through consolidation into this computer,” BAE Systems Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions senior director Corin Beck said.

The upgrade comes after the US Navy announced a delay last year due to development issues concerning operational capability.

No start or end dates for the upgrade have been released yet.

The MQ-25 Stingray

Developed in 2006, the MQ-25 Stingray will be the first aircraft carrier-based drone capable of refueling military warplanes.

Once fully implemented, the drone will refuel the Carrier Air Wing and Carrier Strike Group’s EA-18G Growler, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and F-35C fighters.

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