Boeing wins $805M U.S. contract to build Navy drones.
The U.S. government has awarded Boeing a $805.3 million contract to design, build and deliver four unmanned drones. The MQ-25A Stingray will be used to refuel aircraft for the U.S. Navy.
Some 45 percent of the work will be performed in St. Louis, the U.S. Department of Defense said, and the Wall Street Journal reports that the win could stem declining sales at the aerospace firm’s defense arm, based in Washington but with a large presence here.
The Navy published a request for proposals in 2017 that sought a drone that could refuel, and extend the combat range, of fighter jets including Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, Boeing EA-18G Growlers and Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters. Boeing beat out Lockheed Martin Corp. and General Atomics. The Navy plans to buy another 72 of the drones for a total cost of $13 billion.
The Navy expects delivery in 2024.
“This is an historic day,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in a statement. “We will look back on this day and recognize that this event represents a dramatic shift in the way we define warfighting requirements, work with industry, integrate unmanned and manned aircraft, and improve the lethality of the airwing — all at relevant speed. Everyone who helped achieve this milestone should be proud we’re here. But we have a lot more to do. It’s not the time to take our foot off the gas. Let’s keep charging.”