A concept drawing for the UClass program Lockheed Martin claims is 'still relevant' for the MQ-25 Stingray
Photo via DoD
The Navy's USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carriers may field the MQ-25A Stingray, the unmanned aerial tanker that will extend the range of U.S. carrier aircraft and counter long-range threats to U.S. ships like China's "carrier killer" missile, the U.S. Naval Institute reports.
Citing multiple sources within the Navy, the Naval Institute reports that the two carriers will get upgrades to control the drone, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson wants the Stingray on carrier decks by 2019.
Not only would the Stingray extend the range of carrier-based aircraft, it would lessen the burden on the heavily taxed F/A-18 Super Hornets, which currently fly refueling missions for the Navy.
Though the report shows the Navy's top leadership obviously is behind the Stingray in concept and in principal, it hasn't even been built yet.
The drone often pictured alongside articles about the Stingray isn't actually the MQ-25A Stingray, but another carrier-based drone, the X-47B.
X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D, a previous name for the MQ-25A) launches from an aircraft carrierPhoto via DoD
A concept image shared by Lockheed Martin shows a very different aircraft with propellers.
A Navy spokesperson told Business Insider it was too early to comment on when or where the Stingray would eventually test and deploy. The Navy hasn't even put out a request for proposal on building the Stingray yet.
Rising anti-access/area-denial threats from Russia and China could possibly explain the Navy's rush for an as-of-yet non-existent platform. Additionally, North Korea has made strides toward fielding anti-ship weapons that could threaten the Navy near its shores.
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.