Boeing has awarded a contract to Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS) to supply communication solutions for the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refuelling programme.

The contract requires Cubic to supply its Wideband Satellite Communications (SATCOM) modem system and Line-of-Sight (LOS) Common Data Link (CDL) system.

MQ-25 is manufactured by Boeing under a contract secured in August last year to build four MQ-25 aircraft to the US Navy for initial operational capability by 2024.

Designed to provide a much-needed refuelling capability to help extend the combat range of F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, and F-35C fighter jets, the MQ-25 is the navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft.

The current contract will support the MQ-25 engineering and manufacturing development programme.

“Our resilient, wideband communication solution will enable the MQ-25 to conduct its missions safely and securely.”

Cubic Mission Solutions president Mike Twyman said: “Our resilient, wideband communication solution will enable the MQ-25 to conduct its missions safely and securely. We are thrilled to continue our support of Boeing’s innovative design for this critical platform.”

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According to CMS, a division of Cubic, the contract will help support more than 30 jobs.

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.”

Boeing’s MQ-25 EMD test asset is set to undergo flight testing this year.

Earlier this month, Triumph Group won a contract to provide critical hydraulic system components for the MQ-25 programme.