An experimental drone will undergo tests aboard the airship carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), the first modern aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft, the Navy said.
The test will demonstrate how the X-47B drone, which has a 62-foot wingspan, can be integrated into carrier flight deck operations over three weeks. Engineers will use a hand-held controller to remotely steer the aircraft. There were two X-47Bs built at a Northrop Grumman Corp. facility under a $635.8 million contract the Navy awarded in 2007, according to reports.
Capt. Jaime Engdahl, program manager for Unmanned Combat Air Systems program office, signaled in a statement that the tests could broaden the use of unmanned aircraft. "The moment the aircraft set down on Truman's deck was the moment it officially met the fleet," he said.