Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded a $90.4 million contract modification to Boeing for the company to conduct studies and analyses on the MQ-25 unmanned aerial vehicle.
The modification is attached to a previously awarded, reimbursable contract, the Defense Department said Wednesday, and comes months after the Navy chose Boeing to design and build it's unmanned tanker drone.
Boeing has been obligated $10 million at the time of award from the Navy's fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds for the analysis work.
The MQ-25, is a tanker drone that will be used to help extend the range of fighter and strike aircraft, such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet, from aircraft carriers.
Boeing competed with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for several years on the drone's development, and was chosen in August for the program.
The Navy's goal is to deploy a total of 72 MQ-25 tanker drones at a cost of about $13 billion. Officials hope the fleet is at least partly operational by 2024.