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X-47B  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2016
Maiden Flight: 4 February 2011
Total Production: ?
Also Known As: X-47A Pegasus and X-47BN
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: Dell, Eaton Corporation, General Electric Aviation, GKN Aerospace, Goodrich Corporation, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Moog Inc., Northrop Grumman*, Parker Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins and Wind River   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: J-UCAS
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2016
Maiden Flight: 4 February 2011
Total Production: ?
Total Cost: USD$1.8 billion
Family Members: X-45C
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Description: The J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air System), also known as the J-UCAV, evolved from the US Navy and US Air Force requirements for unmanned combat aircraft capable of performing strike missions and suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) without risking a pilot. The J-UCAS is the result of the union between the UCAV (USAF) and the UCAV-N (US Navy) programs paving the way for a highly promising joint services program. The Boeing and Northrop-Grumman corporations are working on the X-45C and the X-47B (X-45CN and X-47BN aircraft carrier enabled Navy designations) prototypes respectively in order to achieve the US Air Force and US Navy objectives and the J-UCAS program goals. The scope of the program is to field a single combat system to meet the requirements of both services, but the possibility to field two systems for each one of the services is still under consideration.

The J-UCAS objectives are airfield/land and aircraft carrier-based UAVs, a combat radius of 1,300-1,500 nm with a full payload of 4,500 pounds inside a large weapons bay, and a loitering capability for 2 hours over a target area 1,000 nm away from the operating base. It will perform missions such as suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), deep strike, electronic attack, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Air refueling capability is also under consideration to conduct extended endurance and/or range missions. It is expected that a single J-UCAS pilot-operator will be able to operate up to four UAVs flying in closer formations. The collaborative mission execution capability will allow J-UCAS connected each other or with the Global Information Grid to successful operate in high threat environments deep inside enemy battlespace. Therefore, a very stealthy airframe, beyond-line-of-sight communications, and an enhanced electronic warfare capacity will be required to do so.

On August 18, 2004, DARPA signed with Northrop-Grumman a $1.04 billion other transaction for prototypes agreement to continue work on the X-47B J-UCAS demonstrator for a five years duration. Northrop-Grumman will design, develop and demonstrate a minimum of three complete X-47B air vehicles along with three ground control stations. These test vehicles will demonstrate the X-47B suitability for the full-spectrum of military missions from both land and aircraft carrier bases. The flight demonstrations are will begin in 2007 at Patuxent River, Maryland. X-47B evolved from the smaller X-47A UCAV-N optimized for aircraft carrier operations.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Boeing and Northrop-Grumman established a consortium to develop the J-UCAS Common Operating System (COS) by signing the Articles of Collaboration with DARPA on February 14, 2005. COS' open, non-proprietary architecture operationally flexible and affordable capable of supporting J-UCAS and future programs. This cooperative framework will allow small developers and other defense contractors to contribute COS in the future. Developing the COS independently of the air vehicle and other related items will result in cost and time savings and improved performance.

On March 16, 2005, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) aired a collaborative program which began in December 2004 and is expected to conclude in July 2009. The program aim is to determine the military benefit of Unmanned Combat Air Systems within coalition operations. J-UCAS will be involved in this initiative that will be conducted at both United States of America and United Kingdom locations. The program will culminate with live and virtual flights operating in a coalition networked warfare scenario.

Northrop-Grumman started construction on the first full-scale X-47B J-UCAS unmanned surveillance attack aircraft on 2 June 2005. The aircraft will operate from both land bases and aircraft carriers at sea. GKN Aerospace in Saint Louis, Missouri, is responsible for the forward fuselage and final assembly on the first aircraft was expected to begin summer 2005. The X-47B is to be powered by a modified Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200E turbofan engine used on the US Air Force F-15E and F-16 fleet. Ground testing of the modified engine began in August 2005. Flight testing of the X-47B powered by the new engine is slated to commence in 2008. The first flight of the X-47B was completed on February 4, 2011.

X-47B Specifications

Crew: 0
Performance
Max Range: 5,556 kilometer (3,000 nautical mile)
Time
Flight Endurance: 2 hour
Weight
Max Takeoff Thrust: 16,000 pound (7,258 kilogram)
Payload: 2,050 kilogram (4,519 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

X-47B News

There are 27 news between
23 Feb 2003 and 30 Jul 2017
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Sunday, July 30, 2017Russian Developing Okhotnik-B Flying-Wing Reconnaissance and Strike Drone
Tuesday, January 5, 2016Northrop Grumman to Demonstrate Tern Naval ISR and Strike Drone for US Navy
Wednesday, April 22, 2015US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Vehicle Completes First Autonomous Aerial Refueling
Monday, August 18, 2014F/A-18 and X-47B Demonstrate Integrated Manned, Unmanned Flight Operations
Monday, April 14, 2014US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Completes First Night Flight
Wednesday, July 10, 2013US Navy X-47B Makes First Arrested Landing at Sea
Tuesday, May 14, 2013US Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Aircraft Successfully Completes First Carrier Launch
Monday, May 6, 2013US Navy X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator Conducts First Arrested Landing
Friday, November 30, 2012US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Aircraft Conducts First Catapult Launch
Thursday, November 15, 2012X-47B Unmanned Aircraft Demonstrates Precision, Wireless Ground Handling System

Operators & Related Equipment


OperatorsItems

Grand Total ?1
Propulsion Systems
F100-PW-220Ux1
JT15D-5Cx1
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