Revealed by Boeing’s Phantom Works advanced defence arm, online experts predicted the aviation experts were ready to reveal a “reusable orbiter type space vehicle” after seeing the craft covered with a jet black tarpaulin.
And Boeing have finally unveiled the aircraft which could make the US military’s aerial assaults unstoppable.
The jet was revealed to be Boeing’s submission for the US Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned tanker competition – a pilotless aircraft capable of travelling vast distances to refuel fighter jets.
If commissioned, the drone will be capable of refuelling F/A-18 Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, and F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighters mid-flight.
Phantom Works are yet to reveal the full specifications of the drone, which will be stationed on aircraft carriers if deployed in order to advance the distances jets are capable of flying.
Don ‘BD’ Gaddis, leader of the refueling system program for Boeing’s Phantom Works technology organization, said it will soon be ready for flight testing.
He said: “Boeing has been delivering carrier aircraft to the Navy for almost 90 years.
“Our expertise gives us confidence in our approach.
“We will be ready for flight testing when the engineering and manufacturing development contract is awarded.”
The jet is expected to compete with submissions from Lockheed Martin and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the submission.
In November this year Boeing completed the purchase of Aurora Flight Sciences Corp, which develops autonomous, electric-powered and long-flight-duration aircraft for its commercial and military businesses.
Aurora have a diverse portfolio of clients for its autonomous technology, including NASA and the US military.
In August this year Aurora Flight Sciences was awarded a £373 million contract from the U.S. Air Force that will run until 2025.
And last Wednesday, Aurora successfully completed a demonstration of the company’s autonomous helicopter.
This latest advancement would enable a solider on the ground to request a supply delivery via an autonomous helicopter from a handheld tablet. The vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities eliminate the military’s need for runways.
Aurora have also been developing a LightningStrike drone that has VTOL capabilities and can also hover and travel at high speed.