US Navy UCAS Demonstrator On Track for First Flight
Northrop Grumman Corporation is on track for the first flight of its revolutionary Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator for the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program.
The first of two X-47B carrier demonstration system air vehicles is well over 50 percent complete and ahead of its build schedule, enabling this first flight in November 2009, just over 24 months from initial contract award. This is a historical step toward operating an unmanned combat aircraft aboard a Navy aircraft carrier.
The X-47B UCAS-D will be the first ever unmanned tailless jet to land aboard a carrier. The flight test program will include catapult launch and arrested landings from the carrier, autonomous carrier control area operations, and precise movement of X-47B aircraft on the carrier flight deck. The first carrier landing and subsequent sea trials are planned to begin in November 2011.
"The UCAS-D program will establish the feasibility of operating stealthy autonomous unmanned aircraft from aircraft carriers, enabling the Navy to project a highly survivable and persistent surveillance and attack presence from anywhere to anywhere on the globe," said Scott Winship, Northrop Grumman vice president and UCAS-D program manager. "The Navy's leadership in propelling this revolutionary technology forward and the industry team's commitment to rapidly deliver the capability to the fleet underscore the tremendous momentum on the program. We clearly recognize the historical importance of the Navy UCAS program and the role it will play in transforming carrier aviation."
The X-47 UCAS-D industry team includes Lockheed Martin, GKN and Pratt & Whitney. The Navy awarded the UCAS-D contract to Northrop Grumman in August 2007.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company, with over 120,000 employees providing innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Twenty-five navies, eight NATO entities and more than thirty companies and universities are currently involved in Robotic Experimentation Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise 2023 (REPMUS 23), held off the coast of Portugal until 29 September.
The Ukrainian pavilion at DSEI 2023, organised by state-owned Spetstechnoexport, exhibited several indigenous combat-tested systems, including UAVs, USVs and an evacuation vehicle.
Milrem Robotics has now supplied more than 100 of its Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) hybrid UGVs including approximately 15 for service in Ukraine. Lessons learned are continuing to inform the platform’s development, according to the company.
The design selected for the Rotary Wing Uncrewed Autonomous System is best suited for maritime operations.
Reamda is designing a new SWAT version of its Riddler tactical UGV, to be designated Casur which is Irish for hammer, and designing a smaller lightweight version of its controller.