Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Complete First Arrested Landing of a Tailless
Unmanned Aircraft Aboard an Aircraft Carrier
X-47B makes history, lands on deck of the USS George H.W. Bush
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., July 10, 2013
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Northrop
Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the U.S. Navy have completed the first
arrested landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) carrier
demonstration aircraft on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).
The Northrop Grumman-built aircraft landed at 12:23 p.m. Eastern time while
the aircraft carrier was under way off the coast of Virginia, and marks the
latest and most significant achievement for the program during carrier sea
trials, which began in May.
A photo accompanying this release is available at
photos in high resolution will be available at www.navy.mil.
"Today's historic carrier landing and our operations aboard USS George H.W.
Bush show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that tailless unmanned aircraft can
integrate seamlessly and operate safely from an aircraft carrier at sea," said
Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. "Beyond X-47B, this moment in
history was made possible by an extremely disciplined and dedicated
government-industry team that took a brand new unmanned combat air system from
initial concept to highly successful demonstration in one of the most
demanding operating environments in the world."
The X-47B aircraft took off from Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md.,
July 10. A mission operator aboard the carrier took control of the aircraft
and monitored the flight operations, which included several planned precision
approaches in preparation for the first arrested landing.
During today's testing, the X-47B completed the 35 minute journey from Pax
River to the carrier and caught the three-wire with the aircraft's tailhook.
The arrested landing effectively brought the aircraft from approximately 145
knots to stop in less than 350 feet.
"Although it looks like it could be an easy maneuver, today's successful
arrested landings points back to a rigorous test plan focused on software
development and system maturity to prove today that an autonomous unmanned
system such as the X-47B can safely, seamlessly and predictably integrate into
Navy carrier operations," said Carl Johnson, vice president and Navy UCAS
program manager for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
The arrested landings aboard the Bush mark the third major aviation
achievement by the UCAS-D program since May. On May 14, the X-47B became the
first unmanned aircraft to be catapult launched from a Nimitz class aircraft
carrier. On May 17, the aircraft performed the first in a series of precision
approaches and touch-and-go landings on a carrier by an unmanned system.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's UCAS-D prime contractor. The company designed
and produced the program's two X-47B air vehicles. An integrated test team of
Northrop Grumman and Navy personnel executed the rigorous flight test and
carrier suitability test sequence that culminated in today's first arrested
landing of an autonomous unmanned aircraft.
Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D industry team includes Pratt & Whitney, GKN
Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell,
Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins and Lockheed Martin.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative
systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and
logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
SOURCE Northrop Grumman Corporation
Contact: Cyndi Wegerbauer, +1-858-618-5323 (office), or +1-858-705-3280
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