X-47B, a combat air system will be the first unmanned aircraft to take off and land from a modern aircraft carrier.
Shore-based flight tests will be conducted over the next few months to prove that this air vehicle can take off, land and hold in the same pattern as manned aircraft. This is the first time a manned aircraft and the unmanned X-47B will operate together on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. The goal is to clear the deck within 90 seconds after landing. In addition, it will demonstrate that its deck handling capability is as good as that of a manned aircraft.
The Navy plans to conduct X-47B flight operations over the next year to prove its worthiness for the future Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system. The end objective is to integrate the unmanned carrier-based aircraft into the current carrier environment.