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.

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