Unmanned fighter jet makes successful launch
The US Navy has successfully launched the first unmanned fighter jet from the deck of an aircraft carrier.
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Twelve shot at US Mother’s Day parade: police The X-47B robotic drone fighter jet was propelled from the USS George HW Bush in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Virginia, overnight Australian time, AFP reports.
The bat-winged aircraft carried out several low approaches to the carrier before landing in Maryland at the US naval air station at Patuxent River after a 65-minute flight.
It relies on computer programs to tell it where to go unless an operator needs to step in.
Navy officials labelled the test flight a “milestone” as it marked the first launch of an unmanned plane from a carrier at sea.
The drone is considered valuable because of its ability to take off and land on an aircraft carrier – allowing it to be used around the world without the permission of other countries, AFP further reported.
The aircraft can reach an altitude of more than 40,000 feet and can reach subsonic speeds.
It will reportedly be used at first for surveillance and developing the drone program but will later be used in combat roles – clearing the way for a new line of drones that would carry out bombing raids from a carrier.
Author: Sophie Cousins, Approving Editor: Nick Pearson.