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The U.S. Navy Is Finally Getting Carrier Drones. It Only Took 60 Years

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Naval observers were befuddled when, after years of exciting experimentation ending in 2015, the U.S. Navy seemed to give up on acquiring a high-performance, combat-capable drone for its carrier air wings.

Now, years later, the U.S. Navy finally is coming back around to the idea of a carrier-compatible combat drone. The sailing branch’s new aviation strategy confirms that the MQ-25 robotic tanker, the only unclassified air vehicle to come out of the earlier experiments, will pull double duty as a surveillance system.

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