Boeing reveals software for manned-unmanned refueling tasks

Planemaker giant Boeing has progressed its technology for manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) by utilizing a digital F/A-18 Super Hornet and MQ-25 Stingray, the company said in a press release Wednesday.

Through testing, it's evident that the software is evolving for prospective use by the U.S. Navy and the potential deployment of teaming capability on both F/A-18 Block II and III Super Hornets, the statement said.

It noted that in a simulated environment, a team led by Boeing demonstrated virtually an F/A-18 pilot directing an unmanned MQ-25 to deploy a refueling drogue and refuel the Super Hornet, employing existing communication links on both platforms.

This updated software represents a refinement of previous Boeing tests, it added.

Moreover, in addition to the upgraded software, test teams integrated hardware and data links already present on both platforms to further validate Boeing's readiness to deliver this capability to the Navy.

“The goal of the demonstrations was to make MUM-T refueling as real as possible,” said Juan Cajigas, director of the Advanced MQ-25 program.

“Aerial refueling is like a ballet as two airplanes come together. To be able to direct the activities via a single pilot, safely and efficiently, is a major step forward in aerial refueling technology,” he was quoted as saying by the press release.

Leave a Comment