[Video] U.S. Navy launches its killer drone off the deck of an aircraft carrier. A new era has begun.

May 14 2013 - 2 Comments

A new era for naval aviation has just begun.

On May 14, the US Navy successfully launched the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time. A breakthrough for robotic aviation and military Implementation of unmanned systems.

The video, just released by the U.S. Navy shows the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Systems (UCAS) demonstrator – please note that both UCAV and UCAS acronyms are used for this drone, being taxied and then catapult-launched from the flight deck of USS G. W. Bush.

X-47B launch

Ship-board testing had started on Dec. 9, 2012.

On the flight deck the X-47B (that on Nov.29, successfully completed its first land-based catapult launch from Naval Air Station Patuxent River) is controlled using an arm-mounted control display unit (CDU).

The new gadget is a special remote control for moving the X-47B on flight decks which attaches to the wrist, waist and one hand. Through the device, deck operators ahve access to a display and  can control the aircraft’s throttle, tailhook, steering, brakes and perform several other functions associated with maneuvring an aircraft on deck.

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  • Really quick: that’s the USS George *H*W Bush.

    Bush, Jr doesn’t have an aircraft carrier named after him.

  • vegass04 .

    I have to agree, Northrop Grumman makes the best planes. If only their YF-23 Blackwidow won the ATF competition. Although Raptor is a greta plane i think YF-23 would have been a superior machine in the sky for the next 30 years. Raptor will be matched by OAK-FA and J-20 very soon. I just hope the Air force and Navy give the 6 generation fighter to the hands of these guys.