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Carrier Drones to be added to the US Navy

After years of intense experimentation that ended in 2015, naval watchers were perplexed when the US Navy appeared to give up on procuring a high-performance, combat-capable drone for its carrier air wings. Years later, the US Navy is finally reconsidering the concept of a carrier-compatible combat drone. The MQ-25 robotic tanker, the sole declassified air vehicle to emerge from the earlier testing, will serve as a surveillance system, according to the sailing branch’s new aviation policy.

The MQ-25 may be able to assist the fleet in developing procedures for future Drones. When the fleet’s next-generation stealth fighter reaches carrier decks in 2035, it may be accompanied by a squadron of advanced robotic wingmen. During the Vietnam War, the Navy experimented with carrier-launched. The service purchased a couple Model 147 reconnaissance Drones from Ryan Aeronautical and fired them 28 times from the deck of the carrier USS Ranger off the coast of North Vietnam in late 1969.

The Model 147s took images of North Vietnamese forces as intended, but the Navy determined that the ‘ launch method—a rocket booster from an angled ramp—was too disruptive to normal flight operations. As a result, the Navy shelved the idea of a carrier drone until it could be launched the same way manned planes are: via catapult. The Navy and the US Air Force collaborated in the late 1990s to create stealthy, weapons-capable subsonic jet Drones.

The Boeing X-45 and Northrop Grumman X-47 Drones which were favourites of the Air Force and Navy, respectively, were technological marvels. The united endeavour, however, was destroyed by inter-service squabbles. Around the year 2005, the Navy and Air Force split apart. The Air Force is currently testing armed Drones that, in theory, owe a lot to the X-45’s pioneering work.

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