Cobham Mission Systems’ aerial refueling buddy store mounted underwing during Boeing’s MQ-25 test flight

Dec. 17, 2020
The MQ-25 is the first operational, carrier-based unmanned aerial refueler for the U.S. Navy.

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Cobham Mission Systems confirmed its underwing mounted refueling buddy store was carried for the first time during a successful test flight of Boeing’s MQ-25 test asset, known as T1. The test helped to validate the unmanned aircraft’s aerodynamics when carrying existing refueling equipment. The flight marks a significant milestone in the development of MQ-25, the first operational, carrier-based unmanned aerial refueler for the U.S. Navy. The Navy’s F/A-18 fleet currently operates the same Cobham 31-301 buddy store, when fulfilling this key aerial refueling role.

The 2.5-hour flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on December 9, 2020. Future flights will continue to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft and the 31-301 Series Buddy Store at various points of the flight envelope. Insights from the tests will inform the eventual progression to the extension and retraction of the hose and drogue used in refueling.

Cobham Mission Systems provides the most trusted solutions in aerospace globally today, ranging from cutting edge, reliable air-to-air refueling solutions that include modern tanker hose and drogue equipment, to modern and fully digital electric systems, as well as advanced life support solutions. Now delivering fifth-generation hose and drogue designs, Cobham Mission Systems provides a comprehensive portfolio of air-to-air refueling products that include wing pods, fuselage refueling units, buddy-buddy refueling and a range of refueling probes.

For more information on Cobham Mission Systems Aerial Refueling Buddy Store, visit

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