You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Editorial: Stealth, Range Are Key

May. 20, 2013 - 03:58PM   |  
  • Filed Under

The US Navy is poised for an unmanned revolution. Last week, for the first time, it successfully catapulted an unmanned jet from an aircraft carrier. The launch of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B was part of a seven-year, $1.5 billion program to prove unmanned, high-performance planes can operate from carriers.

This summer, the X-47B will land on a moving ship. Both test planes will then be retired, and a new program born to field — within six years — unmanned, long-range, stealthy spy and strike planes.

Meanwhile, the naval version of Northrop’s Global Hawk long-range UAV, the Triton, will soon make its first maiden flight. The company’s unmanned Fire Scout helicopter is in limited service, as is Boeing’s ScanEagle drone.

But the X-47B’s successor will be key, fielding a stealthy spy plane that can operate globally without ground bases and give carriers the long-range strike capability they lack today. As the Navy struggles with budget cuts, stealthy, long-range unmanned systems must remain a top priority.

More In World News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

More Headlines



Login to This Week's Digital Edition

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Exclusive Events Coverage

In-depth news and multimedia coverage of industry trade shows and conferences.



Defensenews TV

  • Sign-up to receive weekly email updates about Vago's guests and the topics they will discuss.