Aerospace goliath Northrop Grumman has taken the wraps off one of the most advanced robot aircraft in the world, the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS).
The X-47B is intended to operate from the flight deck of US Navy aircraft carriers, carrying out entire missions including air-to-air refueling without pilot input.
Captain Martin Deppe , of the Navy’s X-47B project said that Northrop will provide four demonstration aircraft, mainly intended to prove that unmanned planes can successfully take off from, and land onto, US carriers.
Northrop Grumman states that the X-47B, now completed, will enter ground and flight tests in the autumn of 2009. Carrier trials are scheduled in 2011.