Back on the deck

I was researching the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (it’s exciting being an aerospace journalist) when I came across this Newport News artist’s concept of the US Navy’s next aircraft carrier, the CVN-21.

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Newport News is owned by Northrop Grumman, and Northrop has all or part of every aircraft on the deck: the F/A-18s and F-35s parked with wings folded, the E-2 taking off and even the X-47 unmanned combat aircraft waiting to launch behind the F-35.

I find it interesting (it can also be sad being an aerospace journalist) as it illustrates how important winning the Navy’s UCAS demonstrator programme could prove to be for Northrop. Provided, of course, it successfully demonstrates that unmanned and manned aircraft can coexist on the significantly busier decks of real carriers.

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I said . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stop! (US Navy photos)

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