U.S. Navy Makes Aviation History With Carrier Drone Launch

By Reuters

Human Rights Watch, in a report launching its recent campaign against “killer robots,” cited the X-47B as one of several weapons that represent a transition toward development of fully autonomous arms that require little human intervention.

A follow-on program - known as the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System, or UCLASS - is expected to build on what was learned with the X-47B to produce operational aircraft.

An initial request for design proposals is expected to be issued by the Navy some time this month. Other aircraft makers, from Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co to General Atomics - are expected to compete to participate.


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