In the news...

July 12, 2013

X-47B makes first arrested landing at sea

Tags:
PO3 Brnadon Vinson
USS George H.W. Bush

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completed its first carrier-based arrested landing on board USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia July 10.

“It isn’t very often you get a glimpse of the future. Today, those of us aboard USS George H.W. Bush got that chance as we witnessed the X-47B make its first ever arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “The operational unmanned aircraft soon to be developed have the opportunity to radically change the way presence and combat power are delivered from our aircraft carriers.”

Today’s demonstration was the first time a tailless, unmanned autonomous aircraft landed on a modern aircraft carrier.

This test marks an historic event for naval aviation that Navy leaders believe will impact the way the Navy integrates manned and unmanned aircraft on the carrier flight deck in the future.

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Today we witnessed the capstone moment for the Navy UCAS program as the team flawlessly performed integrated carrier operations aboard USS George H.W. Bush with the X-47B aircraft,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS Program Manager. “Our precision landing performance, advanced autonomous flight controls and digital carrier air traffic control environment are a testament to the innovation and technical excellence of the Navy and Northrop Grumman team.”

The July 10 landing was the beginning of the final part of three at-sea test periods for X-47B during the last eight months, culminating a decade of Navy unmanned integration efforts that show the Navy’s readiness to move forward with unmanned carrier aviation says Rear Adm. Mat Winter, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons in Patuxent River, Md.

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, left, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus observe an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is the first aircraft carrier to recover an unmanned aircraft at sea.

“This demonstration has enabled us to merge industry and government technologies together which will enable the U.S. Navy to pursue future unmanned aviation carrier capabilities,” said Winter, who witnessed the historic landing. “The government engineering and testing team in partnership with our Northrop Grumman team members have matured the technologies in this X-47B system to position us for today’s event, which marks a milestone in naval aviation.”

During today’s testing, the X-47B completed the 35-minute transit from Pax River to the carrier and caught the 3 wire with the aircraft’s tailhook. The arrested landing effectively brought the aircraft from approximately 145 knots to stop in less than 350 feet.

Shortly after the initial landing, the aircraft was launched off the ship using the carrier’s catapult. The X-47B then proceeded to execute one more arrested landing.

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

On the third approach to Bush the X-47B aircraft self-detected a navigation computer anomaly that required the air vehicle to transit to the assigned shore based divert landing site, Wallops Island Air Field. The X-47B navigated to and landed without incident.

“We have been using the same [carrier] landing technology for more than 50 years now and the idea that we can take a large UAV and operate in that environment is fascinating,” said Engdahl.

“Across the entire spectrum of military operations, an integrated force of manned and unmanned platforms is the future,” said Ray Mabus. “The X-47B’s autonomous arrested landing aboard USS George H.W. Bush shows how the Navy and Marine Corps are riding the bow wave of technological advances to create this 21st century force.”

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

The X-47B spent several weeks aboard aircraft carriers in recent months. The Navy UCAS program successfully completed CVN deck operations aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) in December 2012 and aboard Bush in May. During the May underway period, the X-47B completed its first-ever catapult launch. Since May, the integrated test team conducted a number of shore-based arrestments at Pax River in preparation for the demonstration aboard the ship.

“We have learned a lot from our flight deck operations, our shore-based flight test and extensive modeling and simulation,” Engdahl added. “Our team has executed all major program objectives and developed the concept of operations and demonstrated technologies for a future unmanned carrier-based aircraft capability. [Today] we have proven we can seamlessly integrate unmanned systems into the carrier environment.”

“We have certainly come a long way in the 102 years since Eugene Ely made the first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier. Naval aviators have always been at the forefront of operational and tactical innovation, and today was no exception,” said Mabus. “People make unmanned aviation possible and it is people who will provide the fresh thinking and new ideas so crucial to successes like the X-47B program and the unmanned aircraft of the future.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


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>