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Boeing has joined a team of suppliers supporting General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ bid to win the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray programme even as it continues to promote a clean-sheet alternative design.
Boeing’s Autonomous Systems division will support GA-ASI’s bid for the carrier-based, unmanned tanker “with our aviation and autonomous experience”, says Chris Raymond, vice-president and general manager for the division.
The announcement comes less than two months after Boeing’s Phantom Works unit revealed with great fanfare a fully assembled MQ-25 ground test vehicle in St. Louis. Boeing’s presence on GA-ASI’s list of suppliers for a rival design doesn’t change the company’s plans to offer its own aircraft for the Navy contract.
“Pursuing the programme as a prime bidder and a member of the General Atomics team is good for our customer and reflects our focus on doing what’s necessary to compete, win and grow,” Boeing says.
GA-ASI’s announcement also clarifies other details of the company’s bid as Naval Air Systems Command evaluates proposals for the MQ-25, which also include a separate offer from Lockheed Martin.
If selected, the GA-ASI Stingray would be powered by the nearly 16,000lb-thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW815 turbofan engine. GA-ASI is so far the only bidder in the MQ-25 competition to have revealed an engine choice. It shows that the MQ-25 will be considerably larger than GA-ASI’s jet-powered Predator C Avenger unmanned air system, which is powered by the nearly 4,000lb-thrust PW545B turbofan.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
You know....I used to think the Air Force was superb at totally screwing projects into the ground.
They're freaking novices at it compared to the Navy. They're going to be lucky if anyone bids at this point. I can't think of a more screwed up project ever in the history of screwed up projects than this has been.