X-47B UCAS (Eight Videos)
Unmanned Combat Air System
Updated June 10, 2015: added aerial refueling video #8
Program Overview:The X-47B will be a transformational, carrier-capable, multi-mission, unmanned combat air vehicle. Strike fighter-sized, it is a survivable, long range, high endurance and persistent platform capable of a variety of missions including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and Time Sensitive Targeting/Strike.
Navy UCAS Program: Born from the former Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) program, the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System program will develop a strike fighter-sized unmanned air vehicle that will demonstrate carrier-based launch and recovery in the 2011 time frame. Successful UCAS carrier landing demonstrations will set the stage for a potential full-scale UCAS development effort in support of the Naval Aviation Master Plan, which includes provisions for introduction of a Navy UCAS in the 2020 time frame.
The Navy UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program was awarded to Northrop Grumman Corporation on 1 Aug 2007. The six-year $635.8 million contract calls for the development of two X-47B low-observable representative, operationally relevant unmanned air systems (UAS) that will demonstrate the first-ever carrier-based autonomous launches and recoveries. Born from the former Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program, UCAS-D leverages Northrop Grumman’s commitment and previous investment in technology development to yield a mature, low risk and cost-effective program. The program is the essential first step toward full-scale development in support of the Naval Aviation Master Plan which includes provisions for introduction of a Navy UCAS in the 2018 time frame.
As a carrier-based force multiplier, the X-47B UCAS will demonstrate initial capability to produce a fighter-sized, survivable, long range, high endurance and persistent platform for missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and time sensitive targeting and strike. Envisioned to complement manned systems and act as a key enabler for persistence in the battle space, the X-47B will be the first stealthy, tailless, jet-powered UCAS to operate from the carrier deck. The first air vehicle has been built and is scheduled to fly in late 2009. The second air vehicle started build in March 2009. Flight-envelope verification and expansion, and certification of aircraft carrier operations will be conducted in 2010 in preparation for at sea carrier landings in late 2011 with follow-on analysis and program completion by 2013.
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Wingspan 62.1 ft Length 38.2 ft Altitude > 40,000 feet
Payload (internal) 4,500 pounds
Power Plant Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
Top Speed High subsonic
Unfueled range w/max payload 2,100 nautical miles
Air refueling provisions USN/USAF
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NNS) -- An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) completed its first flight Feb. 4, an essential step in the Navy's ground-breaking effort to design, develop and integrate an autonomous unmanned air system on an aircraft carrier.