Defense

July 23, 2012

Navy carriers prepare for X-47B unmanned aircraft arrival next year

Air traffic controllers aboard USS Harry S. Truman receive training and provide fleet feedback on Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration software during recent carrier sea trials.

The Navy is one year away from landing its first unmanned jet aircraft aboard a carrier after completing the most recent round of surrogate tests aboard USS Harry S. Truman.

In early July, members from the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration carrier integration team engaged in extensive software testing aboard Truman to validate the concept of autonomous UAV operations around an aircraft carrier and prepare for the X-47B unmanned aircraft’s arrival on a carrier next year.

“Demonstrating our concept of operations and making sure the Carrier Segment is performing as advertised is a huge milestone for the program,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. “The crew, equipment, and program team performed exceptionally well during all planned test events and the Harry S Truman is ready for our next phase of X-47B testing.”

Last year, the team conducted surrogate testing aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower with a manned F/A-18 to evaluate ship systems, avionics systems and early versions of the unmanned vehicle software. The team is now back at sea aboard Truman with the F/A-18 aircraft, testing precision landing performance with the latest X-47B software and hardware configuration.

“The purpose of the UCAS-D carrier integration effort is to mature precision carrier-landing technologies for unmanned systems and digitize the communications and navigation information flow,” Engdahl said. “Since the X-47B is unmanned, the aircraft operates using digital messages from the mission operator and shipboard controllers, rather than through verbal instructions. The carrier requires modification for unmanned flight operations, and the integration effort performs these in a way that minimally affects existing hardware, training and procedures.”

During at-sea testing, the Navy UCAS team gathered valuable feedback from fleet air-traffic controllers and air-department personnel about the usability of the new software and lessons learned about how to most effectively operate UAVs in the carrier environment.

“The new software used during these tests is more comprehensive than earlier versions,” said Cmdr. Jeff Dodge, Navy UCAS carrier integration team co-lead. “There have been significant changes made to the user interface and navigation systems. Data compiled during surrogate flights allows us to determine the effectiveness of the new software and how it supports the carrier environment.”

Throughout the remainder of 2012, the Navy UCAS program will conduct carrier suitability and system performance testing with both X-47B aircraft at Pax River. These tests will include arrested landings, catapult launches, and flight deck operations at the land-based facility and establish the aircraft’s ability to conduct precision approaches to the aircraft carrier.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 1, 2015

News: Iranian aircraft buzzed U.S. Navy helo in Persian Gulf - An Iranian aircraft buzzed a Navy helicopter operating in the Persian Gulf earlier this month, a U.S. military official said March 31. Active duty suicides up in 2014 - Suicides among active duty members of the military increased in 2014, though reservists and members of the...
 
 

News Briefs April 1, 2015

Germany, France, Italy plan to develop military drones Germany and France plan to work together with Italy to develop military surveillance drones that could also carry weapons. French President Francois Hollande said after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel March 31 that it is important for Europe to be independent in both manufacturing drones and in...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

AirRobot, Northrop Grumman Remotec sign distribution agreement for unmanned aerial systems

Northrop Grumman photograph An AirRobot unmanned aerial system flies at Fort Benning, Ga.. Northrop Grumman Remotec is the sole reseller of the systems to law enforcement and first responders under a distribution agreement sign...
 

 

Raytheon awarded $528 million AMRAAM contract

Raytheon has been awarded a $528,797,459 fixed-price incentive, firm target contract modification for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles. Raytheon will provide AMRAAM Lot 29 missiles and other AMRAAM system items. This contract involves foreign military sales. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be complete by January 2018. This award was booked...
 
 

Raytheon, DRS team for Army’s third Generation IFLIR B-Kit

Building on their combined platform integration experience, Raytheon and DRS Technologies have entered into a teaming agreement for the U.S. Army’s 3rd Generation Improved Forward Looking Infrared program B-Kit “Raytheon and DRS have teamed to provide an IFLIR solution that provides our military supremacy in reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition,” said Dr. Taylor...
 
 

U.S. Air Force awards Raytheon $91.5 million for MALD-J

Raytheon Company received a $91.5 million U.S. Air Force contract modification award for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer missile. The contract modification is for Lot 8. Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be complete by June 2017. This award was booked in the first quarter 2015. MALDÆ is a state-of-the-art,...
 




One Comment


  1. […] more on AerotechNews.com. Filed Under: Maritime & […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>