The mission of the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) is to mature technologies for a carrier (CV) suitable unmanned air system (UAS), while reducing risk for UAS carrier integration and developing the critical data necessary to support potential follow-on acquisition programs.


The Navy UCAS program developed and demonstrated a CV suitable unmanned air system in support of persistent, penetrating surveillance, and penetrating strike capability in high threat areas. The  program has evolved technologies required to conduct launch, recovery and carrier controlled airspace operations.

 In fiscal year 2013, the Navy completed the UCAS-D CV demonstration objectives. During three at-sea periods, the X-47B conducted a total of 37 deck touchdowns, 30 precise touch-and-go landings and multiple catapult launches, arrested landings and planned autonomous wave-offs. In 2014, the X-47B completed its first cooperative flight tests with manned aircraft in the carrier environment.

The Navy awarded a contract modification to Northrop Grumman Corporation in June 2014 to continue CVN and Autonmous Aeriel Refuling (AAR) research, development, test and evaluation efforts at NAS Patuxent River to include AAR software coding.  If resources allow, the Navy may demonstrate autonomous engagement flight testing in 2015.


Overall Length: 38.2 feet
Wingspan: 62.1 Feet
Height: 10.4 feet
Aircraft Carrier Takeoff Gross Weight: approximately 44,500 pounds
Speed: High subsonic
Power Plant: one Pratt & Whitney F100-220U engine
Payload Provisions: 4500 pounds, plus allowance for electro-optical, infrared, radar and electronic support measures sensors
Autonomous Aerial Refueling Provisions: US Navy and US Air Force styles
Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation

Program Status

ACAT: Pre-Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP)
Production Phase: Demo
Inventory: 2

UCAS Timeline