X-47B Passes New Test
By Harold Hutchison
A prototype unmanned combat air vehicle landed on the carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on 10 July, marking the first time any UAV had trapped on a carrier. This development means that carriers could eventually operate drones as part of their air wings. The X-47B also carried out takeoffs from the carrier, following up on earlier successes with carrier takeoffs from USS Harry S Truman.
UAVs have been a significant tool during the Global War on Terror, and were responsible for taking out a number of terrorists, including a mastermind of the 2000 bombing of USS Cole in 2002 and Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.