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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: Love em
By Scorpion on 8/7/2007 5:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I'm speechless. Both you and masher2 have got your heads up your arses.

Yea, no. Respect for the dead is why the media doesn't show body parts on the news

Keep telling yourself that. That may be one factor, but you're blind to believe that is the whole reason. We have no problems showing the dead from the people we kill, so try again. The only proof I need is from my Father-in-law who is one of this nations top 1st Amendment attorneys who is currently involved in a case being appealed to the Supreme Court over a very respectful photograph of a US soldiers funeral. Guess who's backing the side of censorship and frivolous resitution compensation?

Vietnam? Anyone that would like to equate Iraq to Vietnam can leave the country now and not look back, thanks.

Oh thanks for the redneck America threat. "You're either with us or against us." You people haven't even a f*cking clue what America stands for. Perhaps it is you who should leave the country. Seig Heil!

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".

Thanks for arguing a point I never even made. Were you paying attention to what I read? No. What did you see then? "Blah Blah some guy who hates america Blah Blah"? Obviously you've got your blind patriot filters on and you need to take them off. I never even talked about this. Thanks for playing.

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.

Again, you are arguing with me another point which I did not even touch, but now I will address this one. I know my facts, man. Yes America fought for freedom, fought for a democracy and for secularism. Nevermind what poison you hear spewed from the pulpit about our founding fathers. Most of them were very staunch secularists and that was one of the most motivating forces behind the movement to America, to escape the hard religious rule of the Church of England and other similar church-state governed nations around the world.

What about wiping out Native Americans? Are you serious? I have roots to Native Americans. I am part Native American. Pick up a history book. Do you still believe that what early Americans did to the Natives was justified? I ask you who taught you history then because they taught you ignorant lies and propaganda. Who was it that the first early settlers looked to to survive in this new world? Who's land? Oh "our land". It's not YOUR land if someone else is already there. Alas this only demonstrate an early onset of the American imperialistic nature. This is something we must grow beyond.

America should go to war to protect it's ideals only when they are threatened. This isn't even something I brought up, by why are we in Iraq? You are an idiot (or a neocon) to believe that such actions will protect our ideals. Only the corruption of our ideals can be met by this means. You obviously have no understanding of what American ideals are, and neither does a large portion of our population unfortunately. Pulpits and corruptionists have been teaching false history to too many people. America is democracy and freedom and secularism, as was the vision of our founding fathers. This is not Jerry Fallwell's America.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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