US drone completes 1st unmanned carrier landing

Updated: 2013-07-11 06:22


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WASHINGTON - US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) drone on Wednesday completed its first-ever carrier-based arrested landing on board USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia, the Navy announced.

"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," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, according to a Navy statement.

The demonstration was the first time a tailless, unmanned autonomous aircraft landed on a modern aircraft carrier, the Navy said. Navy leaders believe the success will impact the way the Navy integrates manned and unmanned aircraft on the carrier flight deck in the future.

In May, X-47B successfully completed underway carrier deck operations aboard USS George H.W. Bush to include a first-ever catapult launch and nine touch-and-gos, a landing maneuver that involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop.