X-47B moves closer to carrier demo in 2013

Navy technicians will perform arrested landings and catapult launches of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland this year in preparation for a carrier demonstration in 2013, the Naval Air Systems Command announced May 15.

The Pax River facility is one of just a few sites in the world where the Navy can conduct performance tests on aircraft-carrier catapult operations at a land-based facility with flight test and engineering support resources not available on a ship, the story said.

The unmanned aircraft will undergo a battery of tests, including electronic vulnerability testing, standard ground tests and system checks, and also its first flight at the facility later this year, the story said.

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