Northrop Grumman’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator has completed its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier, landing aboard the USS George H W Bush, which was under way off the coast of Virginia, on July 10.
After the X-47B took off from NAS Patuxent River, the X-47B was controlled by a mission operator aboard the aircraft carrier. The UCAS demonstrator flew a number of planned precision approaches to the carrier before landing and trapping the ship’s three-wire.
“Although it looks like it could be an easy manoeuvre, today’s successful arrested landings points back to a rigorous test plan focused on software development and system maturity to prove today that an autonomous unmanned system such as the X-47B can safely, seamlessly and predictably integrate into Navy carrier operations,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
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