posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 01:06 PM
Two Boeing X-45As Complete Graduation Combat Demonstration
St Louis MO (SPX) Aug 11, 2005
Two Boeing Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45A unmanned aircraft successfully completed a graduation exercise when they flew their most
challenging simulated combat mission today at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
"We pushed the X-45As to their limits and they responded brilliantly," said Darryl Davis, Boeing Global Strike Solutions vice president. "This
incredible X-45A program made aviation history and laid the foundation for our X-45C, which will become a critical weapon in our military's
For test flights 63 and 64, the X-45As departed from the base, climbed to altitude, and autonomously used their on-board decision-making software to
determine the best route of flight within the "area of action" or AOA.
The pilot on the ground approved the plan and the two unmanned vehicles entered the AOA, a 30 by 60 mile area within the test range, ready to perform
a simulated Preemptive Destruction-Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses mission.
The mission involved identifying, attacking and destroying pre-identified ground-based radars and associated missile launchers before they could be
used to launch surface-to-air missiles.
During the test flight, the X-45A unmanned aircraft faced a simulated "pop-up" threat, used evasive maneuvers to avoid it, and autonomously
determined which vehicle held the optimum position, weapons and fuel to attack the higher priority simulated target.
Once the pilot authorized the attack, the unmanned aircraft simulated dropping weapons on the target. After engaging and destroying a second simulated
target, the two X-45As completed their mission and safely returned to Edwards.
It sure sounds like UCAVs have what it takes.
[edit on 11-8-2005 by NWguy83]