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NAS PAX River Showcases Unmanned Aircraft

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120802-19

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Tristan Miller, Defense Media Activity - Navy

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) highlighted recent progress in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) as part of the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons program, July 31, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Unmanned aircraft such as the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D), MQ-8B Fire Scout and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System (BAMS) were among the systems displayed during the event.

"We focus ourselves on a vision, a vision to provide our joint naval and coalition warfighters that lethal, interoperable and affordable unmanned aviation and strike weapons capabilities today and into the future," said Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, Rear Adm. Mathias Winter.

Winter spoke about current and future operations of the program and how it supports the Chief of Naval Operations' tenets of: Warfighting First, Operate Forward, and Be Ready.

"We're making sure we are focused on that warfighter, we're not here because we have nothing else to do," said Winter. "We are here to ensure that the national security of the United States of America is maintained through warfighting capabilities in the hands of our warfighters".

The highlighted aircraft are designed to support persistent, penetrating surveillance and penetrating strike capability in high threat level areas.

One of those capabilities Winter talked about is the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator. This aircraft utilizes the specialized testing capabilities and facilities available at PAX River in the near future to validate the X-47B's ability to perform in an aircraft carrier environment.

"What we had to do to get an unmanned aircraft to operate in that area is take the entire aircraft carrier and digitize it, so we can get that situational awareness needed to blend that unmanned aircraft into manned operations without disrupting that critical flow" said Cmdr. Jeff Dodge, Carrier Integration team lead.

The Navy made history July 29, after it conducted NAS PAX River's first flight of the X-47B. It departed Pax River and flew for 35 minutes. The aircraft reached an altitude of 7,500 feet and an air speed of 180 knots during its flight.

NAWCAD is comprised of 13,000 engineers, flight test engineers, scientist and research development acquisition test and evaluation specialist.

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