Skip to comments.X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77
Posted on 05/18/2013 3:59:55 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
X-47B Accomplishes First Ever Carrier Touch and Go aboard CVN 77
Story Number: NNS130517-15Release Date: 5/17/2013 5:11:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Vinson, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs
USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- The Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) has begun touch and go landing operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) May 17.
For UCAS-D, this represents the most significant technology maturation of the program. Ship relative navigation and precision touchdown of the X-47B are critical technology elements for all future Unmanned Carrier Aviation (UCA) aircraft.
Don Blottenberger, UCAS-D Deputy Program manager, commented, "This landing, rubber hitting deck, is extremely fulfilling for the team and is the culmination of years of relative navigation development. Now, we are set to demonstrate the final pieces of the demonstration."
Earlier in the week, the UCAS-D test team and CVN 77 worked together to successfully complete the first ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier proving the importance of introducing unmanned aviation into the already powerful arsenal of aircraft squadrons.
"We are proud to be a part of another historic first for Naval Aviation. The landing was spot-on and it's impressive to witness the evolution of the Carrier Air Wing," said Capt. Brian E. Luther, Commanding Officer USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)
The various launch and landing operations of the X-47B on the flight deck of George H. W. Bush signify historic events for naval aviation history. These demonstrations display the Navy's readiness to move forward with unmanned carrier aviation operations.
Capt. Jaime Engdahl, program manager for Unmanned Combat Air Systems program office, said, "When we operate in a very dynamic and harsh carrier environment, we need networks and communication links that have high integrity and reliability to ensure mission success and provide precise navigation and placement of an unmanned vehicle."
"Today, we have demonstrated this with the X-47B, and we will continue to demonstrate, consistent, reliable, repeatable touch-down locations on a moving carrier flight deck," he continued. "This precision relative navigation technology is key to ensuring future unmanned systems can operate off our aircraft carriers."
The UCAS-D program plans to conduct shore-based arrested landings of the X-47B at NAS Patuxent River in the coming months before final carrier-based arrestments later in 2013.
George H.W. Bush is currently conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean, strengthening the Navy's forward operating and war fighting ability.
Looks wicked.. and, I believe, a game changer.
Not that impressed.
Ok you bucket-of-bolts - do a landing at night in stormy weather with the ship pitching about in the sea.
Then I will be impressed
And I believe in-flight refueling has already been demonstrated but maybe with a different platform. VSTOL cannot be far behind.
Plus, theres been tremendous progress with unmanned naval helicopters with prototype successful drug interdiction demonstrated in the Caribbean. Half a century later, DASH is very close to finally being viable. Naval Aviation is one the edge of a quantum leap in effectiveness across the Fleet!
Add to this the imminent fielding of shipboard rail-guns and beam weapons while shifting to all electric operations on stealthy, evolved hull design, rapidly reconfigurable, high-speed warships and the US Navy will be beyond anyones capability to match for at least a generation. Huge changes in crewing and training are in development to support this. Joint operations and logistics is now damn near seamless with Combined operations integration not far behind.
Our remaining biggest problem is shifting the Fleet over to these new capabilities while retaining numbers. Politicians will always try to whittle us down to a fleet which cannot afford to take losses. With huge construction and training lead-times required for this type of Navy, we will have to fight the coming war with what we have. And the first battle is with politicians who are spendthrift with everything except defense.
Finally, we must guard against this being just another R&D effort for the Democrats to give to the Chinese.
With an unmanned aircraft who / what is “calling the ball”?
Yeppers. Iran will do what it can five finger discount this baby when it’s flying over or near their airspace. Just spoof the GPS signal and it’s all theirs.
“Maverick” ain’t gonna like this.
“Robot has the ball...” [snicker]
Now, the real test(ing) will be at night, and in inclement weather...
They accomplish this, then I’ll be sold on this technology...
Also...Does this aircraft accomplish taxiing ops on a crowded flight deck??? of id it going to need help from “special” handlers to move it to its spot???
I would think you could marry (hardline) a remote connection to someone walking bedside the aircraft and move it more efficiently that way than rely upon data links or the remote control (wherever that is) for safety considerations...
Just my initial knee-jerk reaction...
They had better make for sure that Iran can’t control them.
Trust our blue water types to figure out how to eliminate pilots. Now it’s a gamer’s game.
On the more serious side, Maybe the need for night bad weather landings on a deck going up and down over fifty feet and trying to catch a wire, will be a thing of the past.
It finally appears as if the Navy has the ability to remain number one with a fleet of less than 300 ships, which a whole lot smaller than in the past.
Now if we could just make the ships radio controlled...
“call the link”
“digits in link”
all via “ones and zeros”
This subsonic aircraft is a fighter the way the F-117 was a fighter, which is to say it’s a bomb truck.
That`s a byte of a rattlesnake.
Just a question.... What and or who is the handler signaling in that last picture ?
“Just a question.... What and or who is the handler signaling in that last picture ?”
Not sure, but I for one would not stand that close to a landing pilot-less vehicle.
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