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Artist rendering of the X-47B in combat  (Source: Northrop Grumman)

  (Source: Northrop Grumman)

  (Source: Northrop Grumman)
Northtrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy will fly the X-47B in late 2009

The U.S. military is furthering its funding of unmanned vehicles for combat. Just last week, DailyTech reported on the U.S. Army's new SWORDS unmanned robots which roam the Iraqi battlefield carrying M249 machines guns -- and in turn put human soldiers out of harm's way. The military's latest unmanned project leaves the desert behind in order to take to the skies.

The U.S. Navy on Friday awarded Northrop Grumman a six-year, $635.8 million USD contract to further develop the X-47B fixed-wing unmanned air system (UAS). The funding for the Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program will allow Northrop Grumman to conduct take-offs and landings from the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

"We are proud of our legacy of innovation and creativity in developing new combat capabilities and are pleased to be selected to lead this revolutionary advancement in unmanned systems capabilities," said Northrop Grumman's Scott Seymour.

"The UCAS-D award is the culmination of several years of effort with the Navy to show the benefit of melding the capabilities of a survivable, persistent, long-range UCAS with those of the aircraft carrier," continued Northrop Grumman's Gary Ervin. "The UCAS-D program will reduce the risk of eventual integration of unmanned air systems into carrier environments."

Northrop Grumman will build two X47-B aircraft for the U.S. Navy -- the first of which will take flight during the closing months of 2009. The company expects to begin the first carrier landings in 2011.

The X-47B, a sister-ship to the X-47A, has a cruising altitude of 40,000+ feet and a combat radius of 1,500 nautical miles. The stealthy vehicle can carry an internal payload of 4,500 pounds and can travel at high subsonic speeds.

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RE: Nice
By rcc on 8/7/2007 3:03:56 PM , Rating: 1
1. United States spend millions of dollars yearly for military efforts and it is a shame that that money doesn't go anywhere else.

It's billions dude. Times have changed. As Representative Robert Harper said, "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute".
Bottom line, we've been kicked around enough over the years that we refuse to play second fiddle to anyone. But, if you can convince everyone else to scale back, you'll find us very much willing to spend that money in other areas.

2. United States are invaders, they don't care about international laws, they just care about them and no the other countries (Invading Irak for oil is proffitable, sugar is not that much)

Hmmm, I suppose you could make this point, in the case of Iraq. Although regardless of how you feel about the whole issue, Saddam was in violation of international law and the mandates of the UN. We did something about it, with our allies. The fact that the UN didn't have the intestinal fortitude to back up their demands, and wouldn't back the US up when we did, is a different matter.

As far as "Invading Iraq for oil" goes? I'm paying more for gas and fuel oil now than at anytime in history, plus or minus a few cents, so please feel free to show me the profit. Not party lines, not platitudes, show me the profit.

3. War is a big business, for some people...for the most it just mean losing parents, kids, friends, etc...on both sides....The war debts pay well too.

I'm tired of being polite to holier than thou morons. Go pound sand. If you want to blame corporations for starting the way, go for it, and bitch at them. Losing loved ones is always tragic, we are doing it too. There is hope for a better future, but the past of the people you are talking about was no better, substantially worse, in fact.

So, just for the record, which heaven sent, peaceable, people loving country are you from? I must have missed that part of your equitable, mind opening discussion.

Best of luck.

RE: Nice
By Relion on 8/7/2007 6:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
Costa Rica

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