The US Navy has been hard at work trying to find the latest way to improve drone technology and with the X-47B they have certainly made a large step in the right direction, with a drone that can take off from an aircraft carrier without problems.
The US Navy announced that it had successfully completed tests aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is also the home of the first ever carrier-based landing by the X-47B. This means that it has essentially the same capabilities of any fighter jet that has been used so far. This without interrupting the normal flight deck operations that typically are problematic when using drone technology.
The Navy is using this as a part of their Airborne Surveillance and Strike plans to keep drones in use for longer periods of time than ever before. The idea is that they can be used on aircraft carriers when other planes are grounded for rest at night. With drones, it is much easier to keep operations running around the clock, allowing surveillance to continue even if normal flight operations aren’t underway.
This is a major step for the program and one that shows a lot of promise in terms of the future potential.