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,
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.
quote: Yea, no. Respect for the dead is why the media doesn't show body parts on the news
quote: Vietnam? Anyone that would like to equate Iraq to Vietnam can leave the country now and not look back, thanks.
quote: Yes, now I would like you to understand two important things. One, you live under a rock. Time to come out and recognize that the casualty rate in Iraq is minimal VERY minimal. Two, We will not be leaving Iraq anytime in the next 50 years so you can get off that train too. Notice we STILL have bases in Europe from the cold war era? Yea, those will be there for a long time to come. Bases will remain in Iraq, Afganistan and other middle eastern countries for a long time to come as well. This is what we call "Power Projection".
quote: You better check your facts man. We have gone to war for our ideals time and time again. We kicked the British out and formed the United States because we wanted it our way and were sick of being subjected to their ways and their laws. We damn near wiped out the Native Americans because we wanted our land and we wanted it our way. We go to war to protect our ideals, to preserve them from threats, and to protect our allys and what we percieve to be a free world.