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Drone Refuels U.S. Navy Fighter Jet in Midair for the First Time

By CBS News

June 15, 2021

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U.S. Navy officials said an aerial drone from aerospace corporation Boeing successfully refueled a fighter jet in midair for the first time during a June 4 test flight.

Boeing said the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet approached the MQ-25 Stingray drone from the rear, and they were as close as 20 feet while the drone extended its fuel hose for linkage to the aircraft.

The test was performed from MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, IL, and the Navy and Boeing said further tests on an aircraft carrier are planned later this year.

Captain Chad Reed with the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office said, "The MQ-25 is that first step towards a future where the carrier-based fleet is augmented by unmanned systems."

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