The Navy and its industry partners are faced with major design challenges as they seek to develop a dual-mission, carrier-launched drone, the commander of Naval Air Forces said Aug. 18.
The MQ-25 Stingray is expected to perform tanking missions as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Navy sent out a request for proposals last month and responses from industry have been received, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said at a conference hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“As I talked to those industry partners, I realized … designs to do one or those other mission sets alone are different,” he said.
For the ISR mission, you ideally want a high-endurance platform with a large wingspan and “probably not a lot of fuel on board,” he noted