USA USN Boeing MQ 25A Stingray 640Two Stingray MQ-25 fleet squadrons to be established

On 2 August 2021, Captain Chad Reed, the Navy’s programme manager for Unmanned Carrier Aviation, said during the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space expo in National Harbor (MD) that the two fleet squadrons equipped with the Boeing MQ-25A Stingray will be Unmanned Carrier Launched Multi-Role Squadron (VUQ) 11 and VUQ-12.

On 2 October 2020, Scramble Magazine wrote on the first training unit (VUQ-10) to be established in October 2021. This training unit is part of the US Navy Pacific Fleet and the Airborne Command & Control Logistics Wing (ACCLOGWING) that also commands the current fleet of Hawkeyes and Greyhounds.

The first MQ-25s are used for training as part of the MQ-25 Fleet Integration Team (FIT). The FIT, responsible for tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) will eventually hand over their knowledge to the FRS. The home base for VUQ-10 is Naval Base Ventura Country / NAS Point Mugu (CA). The home base for the two fleet squadrons has not yet been revealed.

The two fleet VUQ squadrons will deploy detachments to the current Hawkeye squadrons to operate the Stingrays. Each detachment will deploy with five MQ-25As. The US Navy plans to buy 72 Stingrays, worth USD 13 billion, that initially will supply aerial refueling for the Carrier Air Wing (CVW). The Stingray is scheduled to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2025.

On 4 June 2021, the MQ-25A conducted the first aerial refueling sortie with a manned F/A-18F Super Hornet. See the Scramble Magazine news item on this milestone.

Photo by Boeing

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