Boeing MQ-25 T1 performs first unmanned refueling of E-2D Hawkeye

  • What Captain Chad Reed had to say about the successful mission
  • What this means for the history of aviation


On Thursday, August 18th, 2021, The Boeing MQ-25 T1 refueled the US Navy E-2D Hawkeye command and control aircraft. This is the second recorded successful unmanned air-to-air refueling mission between the two aircrafts. Capt. Chad Reed, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager had this to say about the mission, “Once operational the MQ-25 will refuel every receiver-capable platform, including E-2, this flight keeps us on a fast track to getting the Stingray out to the fleet where its refueling capability will greatly increase the range and operational flexibility of the carrier air wing and strike group.”

 In its first-ever successful unmanned air-to-air refueling mission in June 2021, Boeing MQ-25 T1 test asset refueled a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. During Boeing’s second unmanned refueling mission this summer, the E-2D pilot flew behind the MQ-25 to ensure performance and stability prior to receiving fuel. After an initial evaluation was safely completed, the E-2D aircraft received the fuel. “This history-making event is a credit to our joint Boeing and Navy team that is all-in on delivering MQ-25’s critical aerial refueling capability to the fleet as soon as possible,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. 

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