Navy's X-47B enters next phase of testing at Pax River

Shore-based tests to assess ability to communicate with carrier, use catapult and arresting gear

The Navy X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle has arrived at Patuxent Naval Air Station, Md., where it will undergo testing for carrier-based operations that will include the use of catapult and arresting gear, UPI reports.

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B, the first fixed-wing unmanned system designed to operate from a carrier, was transported by truck to the naval air station from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where it had been flight tested for altitude, speed and fuel load, UPI said.

The Navy will conduct shore-based carrier suitability tests with the X-47B at Patuxent River in 2012 that will verify its ability to communicate with an aircraft carrier, Navy officials said in a statement. A second X-47B is scheduled to arrive in early 2012, they said.

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