The US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray uncrewed aerial refueling system is set to receive an upgrade from Boeing, with BAE Systems being chosen to modernize the vehicle management system computer (VMSC). The aim of the upgrade is to increase computing power and address obsolescence issues, in order to improve aircraft performance and enable future capability growth.
The Stingray is a carrier-based, long-endurance UAS designed for aerial refueling as its primary mission and ISR capability as a secondary mission. Once integrated into carrier fleets, it will extend the range of US carriers’ existing Boeing EA-18G Growler, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters.
BAE Systems is confident that the upgraded VMSC for the MQ-25 will deliver advanced functionality for executing critical missions, reducing the amount of hardware required on the aircraft through consolidation into this computer. Corin Beck, senior director of Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems, stated that the upgrade will enable the platform to execute today and tomorrow’s critical missions.
By replacing multiple onboard computers with an integrated system, the new upgrade will improve aircraft reliability and reduce the total lifecycle cost of ownership for the Navy. Additionally, BAE Systems has provided the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System for the MQ-25.