Boeing and Northrop Grumman have halted work on their rival unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrators following cancellation of the US Air Force/Navy Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) programme. The decision prevented Boeing from rolling out its first X-45C on 2 March, while Northrop has also halted assembly of its first X-47B.

Both companies are being funded at a low level to replan their programmes as the US Navy prepares to launch a competition for a UCAV carrier suitability demonstration (Flight International, 21-27 February). The US Air Force is also expected to fund UCAV-related activities as part of its new long-range strike programme.

Northrop X-47B programme director Scott Winship says the J-UCAS demonstration was cancelled after air force and navy requirements diverged. The USAF is looking towards a twin-engined “B-2-sized” UCAV, while the USN could move to a design closer to the X-47A.

Source: Flight International