Northrop Aiming For First UAV Carrier Takeoff, Landing

NorthropLogoNorthrop Grumman is building a drone for the U.S. Navy with the goal of having the first conventional unmanned aerial vehicle to take off and land on an aircraft carrier, Flight Global reports.

Zach Rosenberg writes the X-47B drone is scheduled to fly and land on the USS George HW Bush in either April or May.

Rear Adm. Mathias Winter, executive officer for Navy UAV and strike programs, told an industry forum this week the Navy’s goal is to demonstrate feasibility of operating a UAV on carriers.

The Navy is also aiming to digitize the carrier environment so drones such as Northrop’s Fire Scout and an unmanned carrier-launched surveillance and strike drone can land on a carrier, Winter said, according to Flight Global.

Northrop and the Navy tested the X-47B’s ability to move on a flight deck in November and December 2012.

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