Boeing wins US contract for carrier-based refuelling drones

The new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner taxis on the runway during it’s first flight at the Charleston International Airport in North Charleston, South Carolina, United States March 31, 2017. (Reuters pic)

WASHINGTON: Boeing Co has been awarded an US$805 million contract for design, delivery and support of four unmanned drones based on aircraft carriers that will be used to refuel aircraft for the US Navy, the Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday.

The Navy published a request for proposals in 2017 that sought a drone that could refuel, and extend the combat range, of fighter jets including Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, Boeing EA-18G Growlers and Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters.

The Navy said it expected the contract to be completed in 2024 and that Boeing won the deal over two other bidders.