The new U.S. Boeing-made drone is now hyping various military experts and critics after it successfully refueled a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet in mid-air for the first time. As of the moment, military agencies across the globe are refueling their jets using manned planes.  

This US Unmanned Carrier-Based Drone Refuels the Navy Super Hornet Jet for the First Time!
(Photo : Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A F18 Super Hornet prepares to land on the deck of the USS Eisenhower off the coast of Virginia, December 10, 2015 in the Atlantic Ocean. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the carrier with India's Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar to demonstrate US Navy aircraft carrier flight operations.

The new MQ-25 Stingray's developers also said that it could soon be the world's first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft. This is a big deal since most military drones are not stationed in huge war boats. Instead, they are mostly found ground bases of various defense agencies. 

During the new drone's flight, it approached the Super Hornet from 20 feet above the ground. After they reached each other, the MQ-25 Stingray flew from the fighter jet's behind and extended its hose to the plane. 

The U.S. Navy Super Hornet operators then grabbed the hose and connected it to the fuel hole to start the mid-air refueling. 

MQ-25 Stingray's Arrival

As of the moment, most of the defense planes developed by various military and navy agencies are still operated by pilots. These include South Korea's KF-X Jet.

This US Unmanned Carrier-Based Drone Refuels the Navy Super Hornet Jet for the First Time!

(Photo : Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
An F/A 18E Super Hornet from the United States Navy fighter squadron VFA-115 conducts a bombing run on April 6, 2016 in Townsville, Australia. Exercise Black Dagger is a field training exercise held at RAAF Base Townsville and surrounding airspace from 1 to 15 April. The exercise aims to further enhance military co-operation with coalition partners and provides essential training to ensure Army and Air Force personnel are capable of coordinating close air support to soldiers on the ground.

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On the other hand, some companies also started focusing on commercial planes to improve the passengers' air experiences, such as the upcoming Overture super aircraft

On the other hand, PC Mag reported that the new U.S. Navy drone will be different from the latest jets and other commercial planes since it will be a large drone that doesn't need human operators to fly it. 

The U.S. Navy also said that this is a great advancement in defense development. The agency added that it will analyze and examine this first unmanned mid-air refueling activity to improve the new carrier-based drone further.  

Why Is This a Big Deal? 

According to Aerospace Museum's recent report, aerial refueling is currently hard to do since it requires the pilot to have efficient navigation skills. Aside from this, the other human operator of the jet that requires refueling also needs to have a connection to the other pilot so that they can easily complete the process. 

The arrival of the new MQ-25 Stingray is a big deal since the drone can easily be programmed to adjust its speed and height depending on the position of the other jet. Once the U.S. Navy completes all the required tests, this new unmanned drone can be used in various war exercises, as well as commercial flights. 

For more news updates about MQ-25 Stingray and other advanced drones, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.  

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Written by: Griffin Davis

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