X-47B next gen UCAS completes first tests aboard USS TRUMAN

The Navy released the first photos from the schedule of tests the service has planned for the X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (UCAS) aboard the USS HARRY S TRUMAN.

The photos and video released so far are pretty striking. I have to agree with Defense News’ Chris Cavas, these shots look straight out of a science fiction movie or one of the Power Point slides that defense officials show to display the Navy of 2030 or 2040.

Navy officials have just started their battery of tests as controllers tested taxiing around the flight deck of the Truman. These photo and video are from those tests. (Video after the jump.)

Mobile readers should click here for the video.


33 Comments on "X-47B next gen UCAS completes first tests aboard USS TRUMAN"

  1. So out of curiosity? How does it take the directions? At first I assumed there was some sort of camera vision installed and its programmed to act with the specific hand signals but then I noticed a guy with some sort of joystick (the guy in the all green) who seemed to be controlled the UAV. Either way really cool vid.

  2. Notice how the weather is absent of all lightning strikes? ;-)

  3. I wonder how the flying wing effects the ability for the craft to get airborne? Ground effect off of a carrier deck should be significant – but going off the bow might lead to a significant loss of lift.

    Any thoughts?

  4. Now let's not have Iran get this one, even though I really believe they dont have the first ones. And, its freaking awesome looking.

  5. what's the point in the ground guides ,giving signal's to an empty cockpit ?

  6. Hopefully iraninas won't hack and take control of this one too.

  7. All it needs is a red eye moving back & forth…

  8. I don't think it will be able to stand up to the inevitable Cylon invasion.

  9. I bet the fighter pilots must have been pissed, I'm gonna go watch that movie STEALTH now because of this.

  10. Id feel more convinced when they land it in choppy seas if not on a icy deck.

  11. did they actually cat launch that thing?

  12. I noticed there's no plane guard…

  13. It's a Grumman bird Let's get a cat back in the fleet.
    How about: Shadow Cat

  14. OK seriously building drones is all well and good, but what happens when someone works out a way to jam the control signals? Seriously this is a major weakness and they seem not to care?

    I mean as soon as I see a load of drones heading towards me, I would start jamming the SOB's like no ones business!

  15. 1903 — Wright Bros fly the first airplane, 45 years later in 1948 the X-1 breaks the sound barrier, 64 years later the first UAV lands on a carrier. Anyone see a problem here?

  16. there is actually a little guy in the cockpit flying it called "Rocket J. Squirrel". And the guy with the antlers standing behind the cat taxi director needs no introduction…. I wonder what happens when its black and no moon and no horizon and the deck is moving more than the lens can deal…. I wonder if they have to clear the deck while the automagic FCLS trys to hit the 3 wire… First Carrier that Kamikazes itself wins a new "Battle K"..

  17. great news when they fly it over IRAN and they get it what is the next move???

  18. the drone is usually controled by an e-4 or civilian, located in some secure location, that has lots of training once it is airborne. take off and landing are mainly controled by the UAV onboard computers with an overide from the ldo onboard. this will be a great boost to the USA aircraft inventory, i saw them in action in "the stan's" they are awesom and welcome to the boots on the ground. i wonder if the UAV can be refueled inflight then we could keep it in the air until it needs reloading or maint.

  19. I belive that UAV aerial refueling has already been demonstrated.

  20. at some point the UCAV will be able to optically recognise crewmen's hand signals, think xbox connect ;) or the onboard pilot or crewman with controller in hand steers it directly

    jamming is extremely hard to do, if it was easy what would stop other countries from controlling guided missiles and satellites?

    the big kicker is what effect this will have on the F-35, and the question why the USN is very actively pursuing a program that directly conflicts with the F-35
    why buy the F-35 when you can have a combination of F-18E/F's and UCAVs? especially in any future Pacific scenario, where the UCAVs vastly superior range and endurance over anything but a B-2 makes it the only game in town

  21. cool; fn right

  22. China will have one in no time. They just need to need to give Iran a few million dollars for that drone they hacked and have in storage.

  23. Can you imagine rack storage of these things? We might be able to double or triple the number of aircraft on a carrier! OK, they're scary and disturbingly revolutionary, but let's take the leap. Dump the F-35. Unmanned aircraft are the future.

  24. this is the answer to fiscal cliff requirement for spending cuts…no more pilots, flight school etc etc…lol, j/k so don't get your tailhook bent outa shape

  25. then again this could be another like patton's cardboard army in england as feint for norma….ndy for friends in china to see…produced by same guys that did the faux moon landing in 69…again j/k

  26. It looks, sounds, and is called UCAV just like the UAV in the movie “Stealth”. Hollywood again ahead of reality. Great addition to the fleet.

  27. Our military with ucavs is amazing similar to the french were with tanks – considering them armored horses. History shows us that the real revolution will come from the rising powers such as china not the falling incuments.

    We you see our militaries fixation on preventing casualties with it's total failure to understand insurgencies its hard not to come to the conclusion that even small and middle ranked powers will shift thier strategies to directly targeting our population aiming for mass casualties as a pudent deterrent.

  28. We all know DT has a hard time finding things to post so time for us to help get this site back out of the gravyyard and into the light.

    What about the 200 mill f-16 order being sent off to Egypt at out expense?

  29. Jeffrey Burroughs | December 13, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply

    Another waste of money, just like the F35 program $107 million per aircraft with no engine. Probably taking the money out of the retiree healthcare fund.

  30. Ok, good lets see it land.

  31. WOW!

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