|click to enlarge|
USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH, at sea (NNS) -- The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first-ever 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.
In May 2013, the X-47B successfully completed underway carrier deck operations aboard USS George H. W. Bush to include a first-ever catapult launch and nine touch-and-gos.
"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."