Northrop Grumman will not compete to build the service’s MQ-25A Stingray aerial refueling unmanned aerial vehicle despite being the developer of the test platform that proved a UAV could take off and land from an aircraft carrier.
Company leaders announced the decision during a Wednesday earnings call.
“When we’re looking at one of these opportunities, let me be clear, our objective is not just to win. Winning is great, it feels good on the day of an announcement, but if you can’t really execute on it and deliver on it to your customer and your shareholders, then you’ve done the wrong thing,” Northrop CEO Wes Bush said during an Oct. 25 earnings call, first reported by Defense News.
A bit of a surprise, considering Northrop developed and built the X-47B demonstrators. But if you read into it, there was a reason why Northrop decided to not proceed; their design focused more on the strike and ISR capabilities, when the USN RFP emphasized air to air refueling in their requirements.