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.

X-47B Roosevelt landing - US Navy

US Navy

“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.”

X-47B Roosevelt for launch - US Navy

US Navy

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.

Source: Flight International