Boeing Defense will install Rolls-Royce AE 3007N engines in the four MQ-25 Stingray aircraft it was named recently to build and supply to the U.S. Navy for carrier-based air-to-air refueling. The MQ-25s are drone aircraft that are expected to extend the range of Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighter aircraft.
The $805-million award by the U.S. Dept. of Defense to Boeing will cover four of the refueling drones. The broader program is expected to run up to $13 billion, covering an expected 76 aircraft in total.
The MQ-25 unmanned carrier aviation air system (UCAAS), formerly the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS), is a product of the DoD’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program. According to the U.S. Navy, the MQ-25 will allow for better use of combat strike fighters, and it will integrate with a carrier’s catapult and launch-and-recovery systems.
Each MQ-25 aircraft will be powered by a single AE 3007N engine, which are produced by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis. As noted by the engine builder, the latest variant AE 3007N will provide over 10,000 lb of thrust and additional electrical power to the aircraft.
“Congratulations to Boeing for being selected to develop this historic aircraft in support of the U.S. Navy. For Rolls-Royce, it will expand our UAV expertise with unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Navy fleet, which includes the Triton and Fire Scout aircraft,” according to Jarrett Jones, Rolls-Royce executive vice president.