The Northrop Grumman X-47B is an illustration unmanned fight aerial automobile (UCAV) designed for plane carrier-based operations. In Could 2012, AV-1 started high-intensity electromagnetic interference testing at Patuxent River, to check compatibility with deliberate digital warfare methods.[25] In June 2012, AV-2 arrived at Patuxent River to start a collection of exams, together with arrested landings and catapult launches, to validate its potential to conduct precision approaches to an plane service. Its first land-based catapult launch was carried out efficiently on 29 November 2012.

The X-47B is a tailless jet-powered blended-wing-body plane able to semi-autonomous operation and aerial refueling. Developed by the American protection know-how firm Northrop Grumman, the X-47 challenge started as a part of DARPA’s J-UCAS program, and subsequently turned a part of the US Navy’s Unmanned Fight Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The X-47B first flew in 2011, and as of 2015 having efficiently carried out a collection of land- and carrier-based demonstrations. In August 2014, the US Navy introduced that it had built-in the X-47B into service operations alongside manned plane, and by Could 2015 the first take a look at program was declared full.


In February 2015, the Navy acknowledged that the competitors for personal tenders for setting up the UCLASS fleet would start in 2016, with the plane anticipated to enter service within the early 2020s. Reportedly, regardless of the X-47B’s success in take a look at flights, officers had been involved that it might be too pricey and insufficiently stealthy for the wants of the UCLASS challenge. In June 2015, United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus acknowledged that the X-47B program ought to proceed however that Northrop-Grumman shouldn’t achieve an unfair benefit within the competitors for the UCLASS contract.

In July 2015, the Navy acknowledged that the X-47Bs would stay in flying situation moderately than being transformed to museum displays, permitting for a wide range of follow-on evaluations. In January 2017, the primary X-47B departed NAS Patuxent River, Md. for Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing plant in Palmdale, Calif. On 25 October 2017, the corporate introduced its withdrawal from the MQ-25 competitors, saying it might be unable to function below the phrases of the service’s request for proposals. One X-47B carried out a required repairs static engine run in spring 2019. The opposite remained saved in a hangar. The older X-47A Pegasus Air Automobile was additionally stored in a coated open air hangar at Palmdale.