The US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray uncrewed aerial refueling system is set to receive an upgrade from Boeing, with BAE Systems chosen to modernize the vehicle management system computer (VMSC). The goal of the upgrade is to increase computing power and address obsolescence issues, in order to improve aircraft performance and enable future capability growth.
BAE Systems is confident that the upgraded VMSC will deliver advanced functionality for executing critical missions, reducing the amount of hardware required on the aircraft through consolidation into this computer. Corin Beck, senior director of Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems, stated that the upgrade will enable the platform to execute today and tomorrow’s critical missions.
The Stingray is a carrier-based, long-endurance UAS designed to conduct aerial refueling as a primary mission and provide ISR capability as a secondary mission. Once integrated into carrier fleets, it will extend the range of US carriers’ existing Boeing EA-18G Growler, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. By replacing multiple onboard computers with a new integrated system, the Navy can expect improved aircraft reliability and reduced total lifecycle cost of ownership. Additionally, BAE Systems has also provided the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System for the MQ-25.