The US Navy are preparing to begin formal flight testing for a first of its kind carrier launched drone in 2021.
The drone has been designed to double the attack range of F-18 fighters, F-35Cs and other carrier aircraft.
According to a report by Fox News, the launch is part of the emerging Navy MQ-25 Stingray program which is planned to enter full service in the mid-2020s.
The report goes on to describe how the program will introduce a new generation of technology by engineering a new unmanned re-fuel capability for the carrier air wing.
Jamie Cosgrove, spokesperson for Naval Air Systems Command, confirmed the announcement to Warrior Maven, she said: “The program expects to be in flight test by 2021 and achieve initial operational capability by 2024.”
This follows news that the Navy recently awarded a development deal to Boeing to further engineer and test the MQ-25.