Author Topic: X-47b Drone gets upgraded  (Read 613 times)

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Offline BMG

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X-47b Drone gets upgraded
« on: November 07, 2011, 04:54:53 PM »
http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2011/11/07/x-47b-drone-gets-upgrade/

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The U.S. Navy has quietly added a capability to its future carrier-launched unmanned warplane that has the potential to tilt the Pacific balance of power. On November 2, the Navy announced it would add equipment and software for aerial refueling to one of its two in-development X-47B armed drones built by Northrop Grumman.

The change could extend, by thousands of miles, the useful striking range of the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, starting in around seven years’ time. That could put them beyond the effective range of the fast attack vessels, diesel-powered submarines and anti-ship ballistic missiles that China is developing in order to create a defensive perimeter around the Western Pacific.

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...an unpiloted aircraft could fly as long as its equipment functioned and its onboard supply of lubricants and other fluids held out – ranging potentially thousands of miles over several days of flight. Carriers with armed, aerially-refueled drones could strike targets anywhere in the Pacific from mid-ocean safe zones.
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charlesoakwood

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Re: X-47b Drone gets upgraded
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 07:09:52 PM »

BMG, that is so cool.  Found this:




The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System flew with its landing gear up for the first time on Sept. 7 during a test flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.

Download and watch video from Northrup Grumman:

http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/nucasx47b/assets/UCAS_Gear_Up.wmv


Offline BMG

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Re: X-47b Drone gets upgraded
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 07:58:44 PM »
Sweet!  ::thumbsup::
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” 
- Patrick Henry

"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates."
- Tacitus

Offline Libertas

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Re: X-47b Drone gets upgraded
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 06:28:58 AM »
I like that this is going to be a nice club in the bag to pull out and use should the Chinese get any silly ideas...but a part of me (the old airdale squid in me) still has a fondness and preference for manned vehicles...but if this keeps pilots safe for other missions and extends our reach, I'm all for it.  Once the navy variant of the JSF comes on line it's stealthy characteristics will offer a nice bag of tricks for the task force of the future!

 ::thumbsup::
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