First Time In History: Unmanned X-47B Successfully Conducted Autonomous Aerial Refueling

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PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- The X-47B successfully conducted the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) of an unmanned aircraft April 22, completing the final test objective under the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration program. While flying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, the X-47B connected to an Omega K-707 tanker aircraft and received over 4,000 pounds of fuel using the Navy's probe-and-drogue method.

The Northrop Grumman X-47B is a prototype at the "demonstrator" for the next generation of military drones for the US Navy in the Unmanned Carrier-Launched program Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) or robotic program monitoring and carrier battle of frappe1.

In August 2007, the US Navy selected the X-47B drones2 to integrate its research program.

The plane follows the Northrop Grumman X-47 was part of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems project that would provide a common military drone to the US Navy and the US Air Force. When that project was stopped in 2006, the US Navy has sought to have a drone well suited to naval aviation.

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