Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First Arrested Landing of X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator

 Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First Arrested Landing of X-47B Unmanned

Shore-based test adds momentum, confidence for upcoming carrier trials.

PR Newswire


NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop
Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the U.S. Navy have conducted the first
fly-in arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS)


Photos accompanying this release are available at A video
accompanying this release is available on YouTube at

Conducted May 4 at the Navy's shore-based catapult and arresting gear complex
here, the test represents the first arrested landing by an unmanned aircraft.
It marks the beginning of the final phase of testing prior to carrier-based
trials planned for later this month.

"This precision, shore-based trap by the X-47B puts the UCAS Carrier
Demonstration [UCAS-D] program on final approach for a rendezvous with naval
aviation history," said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the Navy's UCAS program manager.
"It moves us a critical step closer to proving that unmanned systems can be
integrated seamlessly into Navy carrier operations."

During an arrested landing, the incoming aircraft extends its landing hook to
catch a heavy cable extended across the aircraft landing area. The tension in
the wire brings the aircraft to a rapid and controlled stop.

Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS program manager for Northrop
Grumman, said this first arrested landing reinforced what the team already

"The X-47B air vehicle performs exactly as predicted by the modeling,
simulation and surrogate testing we did early in the UCAS-D program," Johnson
said. "It takes off, flies and lands within a few feet of its predicted path."

The arrested landing test culminates more than three months of shore-based
carrier suitability testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The testing
included precision approaches, touch-and-go landings, and precision landings
by the X-47B air vehicle.

For the arrested landing, the X-47B used a navigation approach that closely
mimics the technique it will use to land on an aircraft carrier underway at

Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed
Martin, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell,
Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins. For the
latest news and information about the UCAS-D program, please visit

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative
systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and
logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Please visit for more information.

SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation

Contact: Cyndi Wegerbauer, 858-618-5323 (office), 858-705-3280 (mobile),
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