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While X-47B is for non-operational use, its precision navigation algorithms will be used to create the first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft

The United States Navy launched an unmanned aircraft from a modern carrier flight deck for the first time ever Tuesday. 

The unmanned aircraft was the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator, and its first-ever launch from a modern aircraft carrier represents how manned and unmanned aircraft on carrier flight decks will be merged in the future.

A mission operator aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) controlled X-47B, showing off how well it works within a carrier environment. It landed back at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. 

 
"This historic event challenges the paradigm of manned carrier landings that were first conducted more than 90 years ago," said Rear Adm. Mat Winter. "In that challenge though, comes a respect and admiration for all those naval aviators – past and present – that have ensured the value of the Navy aircraft carrier/carrier air wing team.

"The addition of unmanned aviation to this formidable, power projection team provides a complementary capability, which will ensure carrier naval aviation remains viable and relevant for decades to come. It also shows our collective readiness within naval aviation to embrace these future opportunities to move forward with unmanned carrier aviation. 

"This is a big deal!"

While X-47B is for non-operational use, its precision navigation algorithms will be used to create the first operational carrier-based unmanned aircraft.

That future aircraft is expected to feature "24/7 carrier-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and targeting capability" which will operate with manned aviation assets.

Source: Navy Live



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OF Course
By rippleyaliens on 5/15/2013 2:20:36 PM , Rating: 1
Of Course, naturally we have people complaining that it hasnt landed on a carrier. How about the fact, that It CAN Take off from one, using, CURRENT Technology. Its not like 5 years ago, this was even possible. or 10 years ago, Was it even a thought.. OR 20 years ago, People would say, thats impossible..

Appreciate the Technical Advances that are being made, versus- "How about it landing".. I Understand that most Techies have NO Clue on US Navy Operations. BUT for a JET Powered UAV to take off from a Catapult.. THAT is Impressive.. Just think of what is comming down the pipe next..

AND WOW, China- The NEXT biggest MEGA POWER, on the planet, just graduated to the point of being able to have a jet take off from a Carrier.. LOL..

Nerds of the world.. Half empty\never full- Reality -- Tech is growing fast-and furious.. 100 years ago, REMEMBER no Jet, No fighters, Planes made of Wood..




RE: OF Course
By Amiga500 on 5/15/2013 2:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hornets have been taking off from carriers automatically for years...

Or if you wanna ditch the "jet" bit, UAVs have been taking off automatically from carriers for over 90 years.

The USN demonstrated automatic landing capability since the mid-50s.


RE: OF Course
By Manch on 5/16/2013 6:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
My grand father was a test pilot for the Navy. Remote controlled AC was what he tested. He was the "backup" in case things went wrong, which they did a lot. He said it got better but after too many "Oh $h!t!" moments he had enough.

If you think about it, a lot of AC designs from the 50's-60's were way ahead of their time and wasnt till the microproccesor came along that they were able to solve a lot of the challenges.


RE: OF Course
By rippleyaliens on 5/16/2013 4:06:42 PM , Rating: 1
And Of Course..
Being a Veteran myself, Straight up, - The US Navy, Technically DOES not like NON- Piloted Aircraft on their 8 Billion Dollar Carrier. The Thing took off, -.. Trust me when i say this. THE Check list ALONE for this 1 SIMPLE Task, Is over 30 Pages Long.

The Marines NEW Jet, That does VTOL.. THE FIRST Tests to take off, was a mile stone. BUT!!! The First Landing, of this single Jet, TOOK a YEAR of Prep work, SAFETY Briefs. MANY, i say again, MANY!!! Trials at a land base, with Arrestor hooks. Unfortunately they test, then RE-TEST, then TEST Again, Before something is allowed to Land on a Carrier. AS 1.. SIMPLE NERD mishap, could and has been done before.. 1 Simple mistake, HAS caused the simple thing called Fire.. ON A SHIP, yah- that is big. I Have Personally seen Careers Destroyed, by a simple mis-hap. IE-- Here is an example.

Pulled up in our Armored vehicle. Waiting on Patrol.. SUDDENLY The Vehicle started to sink, and we Flipped over. Something as simple, as where is the Engine Located-= Mishap.. Which = Standing tall infront of the MAN..

So when the US Navy, decides to launch a UAV, - NO PILOT, off an Aircraft Carrier.. THAT is an Accomplishment, lol..
(Consider this).. We have been using UAV's for over 10 years in COMBAT, and JUST now got to the point of Launching 1 off a Carrier.. That shows the Picky ness of The Armed Forces.. FAST as HELL when it comes to Blowing up shit.. SLOW AS F$#% when it comes to advancing capabilities.

But then again, that is why, the M1 Tank, is older than most of the people posting on this site. Thing was 10 years old, when I First joined the Marines in 1989.. The Marines didnt get their first M1 Tank, until 5 days, Before Desert STORM Started.. (Tick tock), when it comes to Military Efficiency., with NEW GEAR..


RE: OF Course
By yomamafor1 on 5/15/2013 2:43:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's really not difficult to take off from a carrier.

Landing a carrier? Now that's a whole another story.


RE: OF Course
By bug77 on 5/16/2013 7:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's practically a sling shot. And yet, a first step someone had to make and ensure it works as expected.


RE: OF Course
By Chernobyl68 on 5/16/2013 6:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'd be much more interested in seeing how it maneuvers around a crowded flight deck. There wasn't another plane on the deck, and you notice they edited out how long it took to maneuver to the catapult. Heck, they didn't even put up the JBDs.


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