The U.S. Navy on 10 July 2013 successfully landed a drone the size of a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier for the first time.
The X-47B experimental aircraft was landed to display military’s capability of US to have a computer program which can perform one of the most difficult tasks.
With the landing of Aircraft the US Navy can move forward with its plans to develop another unmanned aircraft that will join the fleet alongside traditional airplanes to provide around-the-clock surveillance while also possessing a strike capability.
The X-47B will mainly would pave the way for the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft without the need to obtain permission from other countries to use their bases.
Specification of the X-47B Experimental Aircraft
• X-47B is far bigger than the Predator, and has three times the range and can be programmed to carry out missions with no human intervention.
• X-47B isn’t a stealth aircraft, and is designed with the low profile of one which will help in the development of future stealth drones, which would be valuable as the military changes its focus from the Middle East to the Pacific, where a number of countries’ air defences are a lot stronger than Afghanistan’s.
• The X-47B has a wingspan of about 62 feet (19 metres) and weighs 14,000 pounds (6,350 kilograms), versus nearly 49 feet (15 metres) and about 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) for the Predator.
• The X-47B can reach an altitude of more than 40000 feet (12200 metres) and has a range of more than 2100 nautical miles (3380 kilometres), versus 675 miles (1080 kilometres) for the Predator.
• The X-47B is capable of carrying weapons and is designed to be the forerunner for a drone program that will provide around-the-clock intelligence, surveillance and targeting, according to the Navy.
Who: US Navy
When: 10 July 2013