July 3 (UPI) -- Frequentis Defense Inc. received an $8.4 million U.S. Navy contract for work on the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned air vehicle, the Defense Department announced.
The company, based in Columbia, Md., will provide engineering and logistics for the design, development, test, manufacture and repair of the MD-5A Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System, which supports the MQ-25. The integrated computer system will transport voice communications from carrier-based air vehicle operators to local audio switches, local radio terminals and remote radio terminals.
The MQ-25 is the Defense Department's first aircraft carrier-based unmanned air vehicle, part of a program begun in 2006 with first use planned for the early 2020s. It is launched from catapults, and caught by arresting wires when it returns to the carrier. After several iterations and design changes, it will primarily be used as an unmanned refueling tanker.
In June, manufacturer Boeing Co. selected BAE Systems to supply vehicle management systems for the aircraft.
The contract announced on Thursday specifies that work will be performed at Frequentis' Maryland facilities, with a completion date of March 2021. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting agency.