SKUNK WORKS’ MQ-25: TRANSFORMING OPERATIONS FROM THE CARRIER
The Skunk Works® purpose-built MQ-25 unmanned tanker concept is designed to deliver robust refueling capability to support our combat strike fighters and extend the range of our aircraft carriers. Our offering builds on our unmanned systems legacy including the RQ-170 to bring proven, low-risk approaches to our design.
Rather than repurposing an aircraft design originally focused on a different mission, our purpose-built MQ-25 is optimized for probe and drogue tanking performance and carrier integration to meet the Navy’s critical refueling needs while also providing opportunity for capability growth. We are leveraging our experience with the KC-130J, S-3, open mission systems, and our recent carrier integration and maritime aircraft experience with the F-35B, F-35C and CH-53.
Our MQ-25 approach also harnesses the Skunk Work’s unique ability to rapidly and affordably develop systems to fill critical national needs, ensuring it will meet the Navy’s desire to accelerate delivery of an operational capability. Skunk Works is honored to partner with the Navy to develop a game-changing MQ-25 system and support their forward-leaning vision for carrier operations.
PURPOSE-BUILT TANKER DESIGNED FOR SEAMLESS INTEGRATION
The flying-wing design provides an ideal tanker for the Navy.
- 20% lighter
- 25% more efficient aerodynamically
- 10% smaller spot factor on the deck
Our deck handling solution allows the Air Vehicle Operator to seamlessly control the MQ-25 without introducing any additional personnel to the already congested carrier deck.
ENABLING STRIKE CAPABILITIES FOR THE CARRIER DECK OF THE FUTURE
We see the MQ-25 system as a critical piece in the future battlespace, providing tanking capability to future the range of the strike package when paired with an F-35.
- F-35 provides penetrating strike capability, and the MQ-25 enables a greater range for the F-35
- MQ-25 and F-35 partnership enables the Navy to be a maritime force that can operate globally for the first time in several decades
Media Kit & Resources
For more than 75 years, the Skunk Works® has existed to create revolutionary aircraft and technologies that push the boundaries of what is possible. Our unique culture is the key to our success – the secret ingredient that will define the solutions for the next 75 years and beyond.