Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division has signed a contract with The Boeing Company to supply data technology solutions for the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refuelling programme.

Defense Solutions division senior vice president and general manager Lynn Bamford said: “We are very proud that our data system solution was selected by Boeing for use on the aircraft carrier-deployed MQ-25 unmanned tanker aircraft.”

The MQ-25 is the US Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft and is designed to provide a much-needed refuelling capability. The contract supports Boeing’s engineering and manufacturing development program to provide four MQ-25 aircraft to the US Navy for Initial Operational Capability by 2024.

Curtiss-Wright has been a supplier to Boeing for more than 60 years. This latest MQ-25 contract will require the addition of a half dozen engineers and technicians at Curtiss-Wright, which is also a supplier to a range of other Boeing commercial and defence programmes.

Boeing MQ-25 programme director Dave Bujold said: “The MQ-25 programme is vital because it will help the US Navy extend the range of the carrier air wing, and Boeing and our industry team is all-in on delivering this capability.

“The work we’re doing is also foundational for the future of Boeing, where we’re building autonomous systems from seabed to space.”