Frequentis Defense has received an $8.45m contract from the US Navy to provide a voice communication system for the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned air vehicle (UAV).

The Boeing-built MQ-25A Stingray is designed to provide aerial refuelling capabilities for the US Navy. The unmanned aircraft will help enhance the combat range of F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35C fighter jets.

The aircraft will also provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Under the contract, which was awarded by the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Frequentis is required to provide engineering and logistics for the design, development, test, manufacture and sustainment of the MD-5A Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System (UMCS).

The UMCS is part of the MQ-25 aircraft programme’s Control System & Connectivity (CS&C) segment.

Frequentis will provide the IP-based voice communications system for the MD-5 UMCS control station. UMCS will be used to control the MQ-25A aircraft.

In a contract announcement, the US Department of Defense said: “The integrated computer system will transport voice communications from carrier-based air vehicle operators to local audio switches, local radio terminals and remote radio terminals.”

The UMCS programme is responsible for the management of infrastructure-related modification work onshore and on board carriers.

In addition, the programme also covers integration with existing network, command and control communications systems.

Frequentis Defense Solutions vice-president John Wherry said: “The Frequentis ICS-C2 solution provides seamless integration into an IP infrastructure and meets both security and safety requirements for mission-critical tactical and operational command and control.”

The company will carry out work under the contract in Columbia, Maryland, with work scheduled for completion in March 2021.

Boeing is under contract to build the first four MQ-25A air vehicles for the navy.