UCAS centennial flight
The X-47B (AV-2) conducted the 100th flight for the Navy’s unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D) programme recently. The Navy UCAS programme successfully completed all objectives for the carrier demonstration phase with the X-47B in July. During three at-sea periods over eight months, the X-47B conducted a total of 16 precision approaches to the carrier flight deck, including five planned tests of X-47B wave-off functions, nine touch-and-go landings, two arrested landings and three catapult launches.
The programme is currently planning for continued carrier integration demonstrations and has also begun surrogate Learjet testing of the autonomous aerial refuelling (AAR) capability, which promises to significantly increase the endurance and range of carrier-based unmanned aircraft.