Navy to Establish First MQ-25 Stingray UAV Squadron in 2021

Boeing conducts MQ-25 deck handling demonstration at its facility in St. Louis, Mo. U.S. Navy / The Boeing Co.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has announced plans to activate the force structure to operate its future MQ-25A Stingray aerial refueling unmanned aerial vehicle late next year. 

In an internal notice, the chief of naval operations directed the establishment of Unmanned Carrier-Launched Multi-Role Squadron 10 (VUQ-10) on Oct. 1, 2021. 

The squadron, to be based at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, part of Naval Base Ventura, California, will assign detachments to carrier air wings to provide aerial refueling services to the wing’s first aircraft. 

VUQ-10 will operate under the administrative control of commander, Airborne Command & Control Logistics Wing, also based at Point Mugu.  

The Navy plans to procure 72 Stingrays. A Boeing-owned prototype is being test-flown by the company, which is scheduled to deliver four Engineering and Manufacturing examples of the MQ-25A beginning in 2021. 

The MQ-25A is scheduled to achieve Initial Operational Capability in 2024. The Navy also has said it plans to use the Stingray in the surveillance role, hence the multi-role term in the squadron’s designation.