Naval Air Systems Command posted a video on Sunday of the X-47B’s first shore based arrested landing. It’s one of the initial steps prior to the drone’s first landing aboard an aircraft carrier.
Navy officials plan to award four development contracts this summer for the service’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program.
Northrop Grumman built the X-47B as part of the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration program — a precursor to the UCLASS competition. The X-47B completed trials aboard the carrier Harry S. Truman prior to this shore based landing. Navy test officials plan on launching the X-47B from a carrier and then landing it later this year.
Navy leaders hope to develop and have the UCLASS aircraft in the air by 2018 to 2020.