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US Navy

The Triton making its first flight (Photo: US Navy)

It’s been a busy month for UAVs with some launching from aircraft carriers and others saving lives. Now, the US Navy’s latest unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System, has taken to the skies. This Wednesday, the 47.6-foot (14.5-m) aircraft, powered by a Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan engine, took off from Palmdale, California. It was under the control of Navy and Northrop Grumman personnel, as part of a series of tests to certify the system for fleet operations.  Read More

X-47B leaving the flight deck after a touch-and-go landing (Image: US Navy by Mass Communi...

On Friday May 17, the US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator took another historic step as it conducted its first touch-and-go landings on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia. This maneuver is a critical achievement in the Navy’s program to develop an autonomous, unmanned, jet-powered combat aircraft capable for operating from a carrier.  Read More

X-47B  flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (Photo: US  Navy cour...

Naval aviation history was made today, as an autonomous unmanned aircraft took off from a US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia. The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator (UCAS-D) took to the air from the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and is part of a program to develop carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft capable of carrying out missions according to pre-programmed instructions rather than being under constant control by a ground-based pilot.  Read More

The X-47B catching the arrester cable

The robot takeover came a step closer as Northrop Grumman and the US Navy carried out a successful carrier-style landing of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator. The test, which was carried out on Saturday at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, used a land-based version of an aircraft carrier cable-arrested landing system as the beginning of the final phase of testing prior to carrier-based trials planned for later this month.  Read More

Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS D...

The U.S. Navy took a step farther away from John Paul Jones and closer to James T. Kirk as it announced that a solid-state laser weapon will be deployed on a U.S. Navy ship in fiscal year 2014. The announcement that the Laser Weapon System (LaWS) will deployed on board USS Ponce (AFSB[I] 15) two years ahead of schedule was made on Monday at the Sea-Air-Space exposition, National Harbor, Maryland. The deployment is the latest in a line of recent recent high-energy laser demonstrations carried out by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command.  Read More

The purpose of the new jets is to increase the speed of the LCS while lowering running cos...

The U.S. Navy is fitting Rolls Royce water jets to its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The new water jets can pump out half a million gallons (1.9 million liters) of high-density seawater per minute, pushing the LCS at over 40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h) while providing more power for less weight.  Read More

The Northrop Grumman X-47B aboard the USS Harry S. Truman

The Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first sea trials aboard the Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman this week. The unmanned aircraft was shipped aboard the Truman on November 26 and has been subjected to a wide variety of tests to see how the robotic vehicle operates on a warship.  Read More

The X-47B UCAS arrives onboard the USS Truman, the first modern aircraft carrier to host t...

Northrop Grumman has delivered two X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Systems (UCAS) to the US Navy, which has begun three weeks of tests aboard the USS Truman – the first aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The X-47B is based on the Pegasus X-47A (originally designed in 2001) but features improved landing gear and folding wings for work aboard carriers.  Read More

Launching crew prepares the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) for its first land-bas...

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator has taken yet another step on the path towards unmanned aircraft operating amongst piloted aircraft on a carrier deck with its first ever steam-powered catapult launch. While the inaugural launch was conducted on land at a shore-based catapult facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, it gives the team confidence as it progresses towards a planned launch from a carrier next year.  Read More

Retrofitting engines on existing Navy ships, like the USS Arleigh Burke pictured here, wit...

With around 430 gas-turbine engines on 129 of its ships burning about US$2 billion worth of fuel every year, the U.S. Navy is examining the potential of using Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) to improve fuel consumption and cut costs. Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) estimate that retrofitting RDEs to its fleet could save the Navy approximately 300 to 400 million dollars a year.  Read More

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