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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 tatoruso on 8/24/2007 4:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote: computers, velcro, kevlar, cell phones, and a ton of other things....
Does that make the world a better place?
Please tell me where do you get that?! there are more hungry people than ever all over the world, and if the USA is soooo strong and correct, then what the hell are they doing messing with other country´s business? USA Should get the hell out of Irak just because it´s a direct contradiction to the ideals they say they have...
How do u justify 3000+ dead americans over a few hundreds that died at 9/11?
The expenses? the dead iraquis? do you think that "feeling sorry for them" is any good? AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE INTERNATIONAL BULLIES!!!!!
And no, I´m not saying that Iraquis have a better government... what I say is that common people like all of us should emerge anda rise from all the BS that the media and the people incharge feed us and look for a better world in which finally ideals of love and peace could emerge and flourish....
Cant everybody see that, in the same manner the palestinian are convinced of becoming a human bomb "for their reigion/life/beliefs" also the americans are being convinced of INVADING other peoples countrys, killing them, and force upon them the unstoppable and ever-hungry capitalism?

quote "they are responsible for the protection fo 200+ million people."
how come the war has killed more americans than the terrorists attacks that allegedly provoked it?
Anybody who has at least a bit of a soul, a heart, a mind, cannot be in favor of War.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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