Drone lands on U.S. Navy aircraft carrier

July 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- An unmanned drone carried out the first drone arrested landing on a modern aircraft carrier when it landed on the USS George H.W. Bush, the U.S. Navy said.

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator landed onboard the carrier Wednesday off the coast of Virginia, the Navy said in a release.

It was the first time a tailless, unmanned autonomous aircraft landed on a modern aircraft carrier.

The Navy called the test a "historic event for naval aviation that Navy leaders believe will impact the way the Navy integrates manned and unmanned aircraft on the carrier flight deck in the future."

"By evolving and integrating new technology like the X-47B and the unmanned aircraft to follow, carriers will remain relevant throughout their 50-year lifespan," Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said.

The Navy said the X-47B was involved in carrier deck operations aboard the carrier in May, including a first-ever catapult launch.

"We have certainly come a long way in the 102 years since Eugene Ely made the first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier. Naval aviators have always been at the forefront of operational and tactical innovation, and today was no exception," Mabus said.

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