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The Navy is getting closer to relying on pilotless planes to keep its fighters flying

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In December, the MQ-25 Stingray successfully made its first flight with an aerial refueling store, carrying a Cobham ARS under its left wing for about 2.5 hours.

The flight was intended to test the drone's aerodynamics with the same system used by the Navy's F/A-18s for aerial-refueling missions.

Capt. Chad Reed, the Navy's Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager, said the test was "one big step closer in our evaluation of how the MQ-25 will fulfill its primary mission in the fleet — aerial refueling."

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