The US Navy has expanded its test activity using Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator, with the type having been operated from its aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt on 10 November.
“The event demonstrated the integration of the latest in naval aviation technology with the most advanced and capable carrier,” the navy says. “The aircraft performed precise touch-and-go manoeuvres, took part in flightdeck handling drills and completed arrested landings and catapult launches.”
Under previous plans, two X-47Bs flown as part of a risk-reduction activity ahead of the navy’s unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike aircraft programme were to have been retired earlier this year, following the completion of flight trials aboard the USS George H W Bush.
“Current and future test events will continue to mature unmanned technologies and refine concept of operations to further inform unmanned carrier requirements,” the USN says.