The US Navy and Boeing have completed a carrier-based aircraft uncrewed refuelling mission with a Navy E-2D Hawkeye command and control (C2) aircraft.

The six-hour flight test was carried out at Mid-America Airport in Mascoutah, Illinois.

Boeing’s MQ-25 test asset, also known as T1, transferred fuel to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

The mission allows the team to examine the aerodynamic interaction of the two aircraft and adjust guidance and control, if required.

The early delivery of software updates will not impact the developmental test schedule.

The latest event marks the second refuelling flight for the MQ-25 programme.

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Boeing MQ-25 programme director Dave Bujold said: “It was another great flight showing that our MQ-25 design is performing to plan.

“These historic refuelling flights provide an incredible amount of data we feed back into the MQ-25 digital models to ensure the aircraft we’re producing will be the navy’s game-changer for the carrier air wing.”

During the first test conducted on 4 June, Boeing and the US Navy demonstrated the aerial refuelling between a crewed and uncrewed aircraft, which saw MQ-25 Stingray test vehicle performing its first mid-air tanking mission with a navy F/A-18 Super Hornet.

According to Boeing, both the first and second flights were conducted at operationally relevant speeds and altitudes.

US Navy Unmanned Carrier Aviation programme manager captain Chad Reed said: “Once operational, the MQ-25 will refuel every receiver-capable platform, including E-2.

“This flight keeps us on a fast track to getting the Stingray out to the fleet where its refuelling capability will greatly increase the range and operational flexibility of the carrier air wing and strike group.”

Boeing is currently manufacturing the first two of seven MQ-25 test aircraft and two ground test articles.

Earlier this month, the company announced that the MQ-25 Stingray communicated with other crewed aircraft without requiring any air vehicle operator on the ground.