Cobham Mission Systems

Cobham Mission Systems’ Aerial Refueling Buddy Store Mounted Underwing During Boeing’s Unmanned MQ-25 Test Flight


Cobham Mission Systems’ Aerial Refueling Buddy Store Mounted Underwing During Boeing’s Unmanned MQ-25 Test Flight

Test is Major Milestone in Development of Unmanned Aerial Refuelers

DAVENPORT, IA, Dec. 16, 2020 — Cobham Mission Systems, the world leader in air-to-air refueling solutions, proudly confirms 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.

“This marks a significant milestone for the development of unmanned aerial refueling and we are proud that Boeing’s MQ-25 test aircraft carried Cobham’s underwing mounted equipment on this test flight,” said Jason Apelquist, SVP business development and strategy for Cobham Mission Systems. “It is encouraging to see how proven solutions are being leveraged to further new mission capability. We look forward to supporting next-generation technology and continue to work with our customers as a key partner to deliver the aerial refueling solution of the future.”

The 2.5-hour flight was conducted by Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, IL, 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.

Image Credit: Kevin Flynn

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

 About Cobham Mission Systems

As the world’s leading supplier of critical control solutions, Cobham Mission Systems helps customers increase the safety and mission capabilities of personnel and equipment in extreme environments. Proven and trusted solutions include air-to-air refueling, fuel tank inerting, life support, space propulsion, weapons carriage and missile actuation that enable customers to achieve mission success.

Media Contact:

On behalf of Cobham

Joyce Bosc

(301) 717-9529

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