kkleiner writes: Navy officials and military developers are beaming with smiles of success for they are the proud papas of the newest military marvel: a robotic jet fighter. The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, completed its first successful test flight on February 4th at Edwards Air Force Base in California without the assistance of an onboard or remote human pilot. It’s all automated. The aircraft’s sleek tailless design will make it harder to spot on radar, but proves a unique challenge for an unmanned aerial system (UAS). The US Navy is looking to place the robot jet fighter on aircraft carriers in the next decade, with ocean-located trials slated for 2013. From there, robotic jet fighters could prove to be valuable assets in a modern military that is increasingly automating its approach to war.
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