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Print 28 comment(s) - last by finetsky.. on Jul 15 at 10:52 AM

Successful carrier landing marks the beginning of the final phases of at sea testing

The United States military is pushing hard to push more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into combat zones. These drones are important because the military doesn't have to worry about the loss of human life in a combat situation and drones are able to operate for long periods of time without worrying about pilot fatigue.

In May of 2013, the Navy reached a milestone with its latest drone when the aircraft made its first carrier-based launch. This week the X-47B has reached another milestone by successfully making its first arrested landing at sea aboard a carrier. The carrier landing took place aboard the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia on July 10.
 
The demonstration marked the first time a tailless, unmanned autonomous aircraft landed on the surface of a modern aircraft carrier.


"It isn't very often you get a glimpse of the future. Today, those of us aboard USS George H.W. Bush got that chance as we witnessed the X-47B make its first ever arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "The operational unmanned aircraft soon to be developed have the opportunity to radically change the way presence and combat power are delivered from our aircraft carriers."

The carrier landing marked the beginning of the final phase of three at-sea test periods for the X-47B. The testing on July 10 saw the drone aircraft complete a 35-minute transit from Pax River to the carrier.

After the initial successful landing, the drone was launched off the carrier using the catapult and executed an additional arrested landing. The aircraft attempted a third arrested landing but self detected an anomaly in its navigation computer that required the aircraft to divert to an inland airfield.

Source: Navy



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Real Carrier
By Shig on 7/11/2013 3:26:58 PM , Rating: 3
A carrier that has manufacturing capability inside of it and the ability to quickly build and arm new drones and quickly launch them. Yeah you know which carrier I'm talking about.




Stall the ball there goose...
By Amiga500 on 7/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By bug77 on 7/11/2013 10:24:52 AM , Rating: 3
This is not about a fully automated landing, there is still someone watching the plane. But it's the first thing that lands _on a carrier_, without a person in the cockpit. This is huge.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Samus on 7/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By lesbaer45 on 7/11/2013 2:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
I can only imagine its small footprint and low velocity allow it to land on an aircraft carrier without a hook.

Try looking closer at that photograph / video. It HAS a tail hook even if it has no "tail".

And unlike real pilots, it can't get any 'tail' either.

<badump tish>

Thank you, thank you, no your all too kind.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2013 1:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
no tail hook scandals, how boring is the news going to be.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Guspaz on 7/11/2013 2:23:41 PM , Rating: 3
Say what now? It's not stopping without a hook (arrested landing means with a hook), it doesn't have a small footprint (it's roughly the same size as a manned jet), and it doesn't have a low velocity (it's a jet with a cruise speed of slightly below mach 1).


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Samus on 7/11/2013 11:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
o


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2013 1:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
tailless aircraft usually have higher stall speeds


Huh, stall speed is determined by wing loading right?


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By nafhan on 7/11/2013 10:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Note: there's still an "X" in the name. No one's claiming this thing is combat ready or even close.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Amiga500 on 7/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2013 11:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
Really, I would have thought it would be pretty tough to hide a carrier group.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By daboom06 on 7/11/2013 11:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
The ocean is a big place


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By euler007 on 7/11/2013 1:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
A big flat place. A few picket ships or a plane will cover a lot of ground very fast, if a random fishing vessel doesn't just pass by and spots it.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2013 1:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
An Awacs type plane will spot it even quicker.


By marvdmartian on 7/15/2013 7:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure if it happens any more, but back in the bad old days of the Cold War, it was typical to find a Soviet "fishing trawler" in close proximity to a carrier battle group. Yes, they were fishing....no, not for oceanic wildlife, but more for information.

When I served on board the (now retired) USS Enterprise, and we received orders to transit to the Suez Canal, in 1986, to help support the operation in the Mediterranean (after the attach on Libya), it was decided to "lose our tail"....and we did.

Funny thing about those fishing trawlers.....they can't go, let alone sustain, 30+ knots speed. We literally left them in our wake.

Of course, nowadays, planes & ships aren't your concern.... it's the satellites that will spot you.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Amiga500 on 7/11/2013 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 1
Probably the biggest defence a carrier has in the face of an advanced adversary is in having an unknown location.

As far as the USN is concerned, this asset is somewhat augmented in importance due to the replacement of the F-14D with the F/A-18E/F in the fleet-interceptor role. Even then, the USN have serious concerns about the viability of a carrier fleet in an age when anti-ship ballistic missiles [i.e. DF-21] could be targeted at any carrier within a couple of thousand miles.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2013 1:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably the biggest defence a carrier has in the face of an advanced adversary is in having an unknown location.


Maybe in WWII?

This "advanced adversary" is certainly going to have no problem picking up a carrier battle group out simply by re-tasking a spy satellite or two. Or any number of advanced over-the-horizon radar systems, sonar nets, etc etc.

Finding our carriers are not the problem. Hell half the time you can turn on the TV and get a rough idea as to their deployment. Doing something about them? That's a tall order.

quote:
Even then, the USN have serious concerns about the viability of a carrier fleet in an age when anti-ship ballistic missiles [i.e. DF-21] could be targeted at any carrier within a couple of thousand miles.


In theory. I'm not convinced the DF-21 is even half as effective as the Chinese claim it to be. Most independent analysis suggests this weapon system is all hype. We've seen ONE test succeed, and that was on an immobile carrier. Getting a fatal hit on a carrier moving at 30+ knots? Remains to be seen.

Having said that, sure, carriers might not be perfect. But we currently have no better way to project air power ASAP.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2013 1:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sure we do you use allied countries and the Air Force. An air base can do a lot more damage than a carrier.


By JKflipflop98 on 7/13/2013 12:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest defense a carrier has is the badass battlegroup that's sailing along with it.


RE: Stall the ball there goose...
By cgadragon on 7/11/2013 8:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
It is much more likely to be differential GPS between the airframe and vessel combined with directional antenna or satellite uplink. Comms are most likely digitally encrypted and/or directional to minimize broad emissions and also prevent EMI with the many other systems aboard both air and surface assets. If radar is involved at all it is in no way different from the way it's employed by/for manned aircraft.

The added value to this technology can simply be providing the same capability using smaller aircraft, with more room/weight for fuel, therefore greater range, and without the risk of lives and reduced human error in pilotage.


By half_duplex on 7/12/2013 10:23:24 AM , Rating: 2
This is just a wild guess, but I'd say 25% of the cost/weight of a fighter jet is spent on life support and accommodating a human being. Maybe even more.


By funguseater on 7/14/2013 6:17:44 PM , Rating: 1
Hi just thought I'd interject. This system IS NOT dependent upon radar for flight. " The navigation of the UCAS is controlled by hybrid global positioning system (GPS) vision-based system. The flight path is pre-programmed and its operations are monitored by a mission operator. " from http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/x-47b-unm...

Hybrid GPS/VISION nav system, SAR,iSAR,GMTI, MMTI for targeting, also has EC suite and is designed for later stealth coating. This thing in not in service til 2019.

Just some quick info I dug up.


Human life
By roykahn on 7/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Human life
By Azethoth on 7/12/13, Rating: 0
RE: Human life
By lost953 on 7/12/2013 3:15:17 AM , Rating: 3
Yes because we all agree with everything our government does


RE: Human life
By finetsky on 7/15/2013 10:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
How simple is that said from the power position right?
How would you really feel if your entire family dies in flames because there was a person of interest living near by. It can also be used on US soil in the future.
Sorry you're innocent, but your own government asked for it.
I am EU citizen, I don't need to worry, but what you said was just example of US rough ignorance.
That is exactly the thing why people across the globe are turning back to you. Think about it.


RE: Human life
By Jedi2155 on 7/12/2013 4:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
What if the government decided to bomb everyone they are monitoring?
.
.
.
.
BAZINGA!


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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