The Navy recently put out an RFP for the program, at which point Northrop dropped out, leaving three competitors...Lockheed, Boeing and General Atomics. Boeing considers getting the contract "essential" according to their own press releases. So, they have partnered with General Atomics in their offering in addition to submitting their own entry. As one company spokesperson put it...a piece of the work is better than nothing, if they can't win the whole thing in the first place. General Atomics--while they have enormous drone experience--lack experience with the Navy specifically. That is something Boeing has, so that is what GA gets from the partnership. Boeing has software which will land a drone on a carrier--developed for their X-45, then installed in and tested on an F/A-18. Last I read, Lockheed won't even release a picture/drawing/image of their entry.
There was originally lots of speculation everywhere (not necessarily just the site you link) that either the X-45 or X-47B would be the airframe developed. Both of those were designed for stealth deep strike requirements of an earlier program, however. As the whole thing evolved, the Navy came to realize deep strike was too ambitious (thus potentially costly.) Article on the fear of concurrency in the program:
Still, their next statements to the industry were looking for an Intelligence/Surveillance platform, which would still need stealth. So, the two X aircraft designs remained plausible. Then, the Navy began to add a desire for tanking. Ultimately, they have shifted primary focus of the program to having tanking be the uppermost primary duty. They also wanted lots of range with larger loads. This requires less stealth, and makes the X designs harder to adapt. It also opened the door for GA's less stealthy, more conventional wing and body design. This is also why Northrop dropped out. Their spokespeople say it is more bother to adapt their X design to the new requirements than the company wishes to undertake.
Navy is now considering the 3 RFP submissions.
Here's a link to the General Atomics site, and it links some other informative articles on the state of the program:
: It appears the MQ-25 robot drone will
: eventually be evolved into the T-1 tanker.
: The article says that eventually 72 will be
: produced and distributed to the carriers in
: the 2026 time frame. Additional work will
: be necessary to add hard points for fuel
: tanks and necessary probe and drogue
: refueling gear.
: There was some incorrect analysis earlier on
: this page that the cancelled X-45 UCAV would
: have been modified to become the future T-1.
: The X-45 was part of the evolutionary
: process that eventually produced the MQ-25.