The X-47B carrier-based combat UAV has won the prestigious 2013 Robert J. Collier Trophy.
The X-47B, also known as the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D), snagged the honor for developing and demonstrating the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier, said the National Aeronautic Association.
In May 2013, the X-47B was the first unmanned, tailless aircraft to be catapult-launched from an aircraft carrier, the first to conduct touch-and-go landings on a carrier, and the first to make an arrested landing.
"It is a tremendous honor to be selected as this year's winner," said Carl Johnson, vice president of Northrop Grumman's UCAS-D unit, in a company news release. "The X-47B program is the product of extraordinary vision and relentless execution. The Navy and our entire industry team have been formidable partners in developing an aircraft that many thought impossible."
Previous Collier Trophy winners include the Global Hawk UAV and the B-2 bomber.