BAE Systems to upgrade VMSC for US Navy’s MQ-25A UAS 

BAE Systems has been selected by Boeing to upgrade and modernize the vehicle management system computer (VMSC) for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling system. 

BAE Systems has been selected by Boeing to upgrade and modernize the vehicle management system computer (VMSC) for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling system. (Credit: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems’ next-generation VMSC controls all flight surfaces and performs overall vehicle management duties for the autonomous MQ-25.

The MQ-25 is the Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft and is designed to provide a much-needed aerial refueling capability. It also aims to relieve the refueling mission workload for F/A-18 aircraft, allowing them to take on other key mission roles, and increasing the fleet’s capacity.

According to BAE, the technology refresh will increase computing power and address obsolescence issues, providing the unmanned aerial tanker with an integrated solution that improves aircraft performance and allows for future capability growth.

“Our upgraded VMSC for the MQ-25 will deliver advanced functionality—enabling this platform to execute today and tomorrow’s critical missions, while also reducing the amount of hardware required on the aircraft through consolidation into this computer,” said Corin Beck, senior director of Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems.

VMSC upgrade will use quad-core processors to increase computing power while optimizing size, weight, and power footprint on the aircraft. The multi-core processor selected for the MQ-25 VMSC has recently completed qualification on another U.S. military platform thereby reducing cost, schedule, and integration risk for this program.

 The new VMSC provides growth capability to support future missions of the MQ-25, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies.

BAE Systems also provides the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) System for the aircraft.