> our title:

US Navy to Retire X-47B UCAV After Imminent Refueling Tests

> original title:

U.S. Navy Will Terminate X-47B Flight Test Program After Aerial Refueling Test (excerpt)

(Source: US Navy League SeaPower blog; posted April 14, 2015)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. --- The X-47B unmanned carrier operations demonstrator aircraft could begin final aerial refueling tests as soon as April 15, according to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Refueling in flight is the last hurdle for the Northrop Grumman-built tail-less, bat-shaped jet acquired by the Navy to test the integration of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) into aircraft carrier operations, Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager of Unmanned Carrier Aviation (PMA-268), said April 14.

“The goal of the refueling demo is to transfer 3,000 pounds [of fuel] in five minutes of engaged time. We are planning about three three flights to conduct these test points. And the first opportunity we’ll have looks like tomorrow [April 15],” Duarte told a NAVAIR briefing at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition.

The X-47B, modified to use the Navy’s probe-and-drogue method of aerial refueling, is one of two almost identical aircraft in the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstration (UCAS-D) program based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The X-47B was the first UAS in history to take off and land on an aircraft carrier deck using a launch catapult and arresting landing hook in 2013. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the SeaPower blog.