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Unmanned X-47Bs tested on USS Theodore Roosevelt

Nov. 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle by Northrop Grumman has undergone another series of test and evaluations for its use from aircraft carriers.

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command tests aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt included deck handling, carrier approaches and landings in off-nominal wind conditions, digitized ship systems interfaces, and concept of operations development.

Included were 26 total deck touchdowns: 21 precise touch-and-goes; five arrested landings and two autonomous wave-offs.

Both of the Navy's X-47Bs participated in the testing.

"The X-47 was tested in winds of higher magnitude and differing directions than seen in previous detachments," said Program Manager for Unmanned Carrier Aviation Capt. Beau Duarte. "This resulted in more stimulus provided to the aircraft's guidance and control algorithms and a more robust verification of its GPS autoland capability."

"The Navy and industry team once again conducted productive flight operations in the CVN (carrier) environment," said Barbara Weathers, Unmanned Combat Air System deputy program manager. "The carrier systems installation and system checkouts were performed in record time, quite an amazing feat."

The Navy said additional carrier-based and land-based testing will occur next year.

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