Few details have been revealed thus far on Boeing's entry into the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike program. The vehicle is said to be an improved evolution of the X-45 Phantom Ray, which was Boeing’s unsuccessful bid for the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Demonstrator (UCAS-D). Developed by Boeing's Phantom Works, Phantom Ray had a 50-foot wingspan was 36 feet long and was funded entirely by internal Boeing funds.
In August 2013, NAVAIR awarded Boeing, along with the other three UCLASS competitors, a $15 million contract for preliminary design review.
See also: UCLASS.
Boeing’s MQ-25 unmanned aircraft system is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations next year. The aircraft is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. (Boeing photo by Eric Shindelbower)