The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) returned to its homeport of Norfolk after a successful completion of new defense testing during a two-week underway period, May 24.
The ship tested a new torpedo self defense system, completed more than 115 launches and landings in assessing a precision landing system, all while launching the first carrier based unmanned aircraft in naval aviation history.
The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) was launched from the ship in conjuction with the Navy/Northrop Grumman team, May 14. The unmanned aircraft flew over Maryland's Eastern Shore before landing safely at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
"We saw a small, but significant pixel in the future picture of our Navy as we begin integration of unmanned systems into arguably the most complex warfighting environment that exists today: the flight deck of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier," said Vice Adm. David Buss, commander, Naval Air Forces.
The X-47B returned to the ship three days later to conduct its first touch-and-go landing on an aircraft carrier. Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the Unmanned Combat Air Systems program manager, took time to thank the crew during an all-hands call May 23, the night before the ship arrived into port.
"I hope all of you are proud of where you're standing," said Engdahl. "It's a changed world now. We launched a few naval aviation firsts and you were all there."
USS George H.W. Bush is in port conducting training operations in preparation for the upcoming underway schedule.
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derrik Noack, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Public
Source: US Navy
Date: May 27, 2013