Video: X-47B Makes First Ever Drone Carrier Landing | Defense Tech:
'via Blog this'
It still boggles my mind that the Navy is leading the way in researching air combat drone technology, while the Air Force is sitting idly on the sidelines, sending out a request for proposals for a manned 6th generation air-to-air platform. Then again, considering that the Air Force failed to field a full contingent of its 5th gen fighter (a plane with a toxic air filtration system responsible for at least two crashes), the rampant cost overruns of the joint services ground attack plane, and that the organization utterly choked on delivering a low-altitude anti-insurgency attack craft in time for either of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (the latter being the longest in US history), I guess no one should be surprised.
But damn, what happened? Once upon a time, not all that long ago, this was an institution known for its competency and getting things done under near impossible conditions. Now it can't even successfully deliver a new fleet of aircraft, or pursue the most relevant lines of new technologies. And this is one of our key players for the coming decade or two in the Pacific? Yikes.
At this point the only thing I can say is, Go Navy! Someone has to be responsible for taking us into the future.
Update: July 16
U.S. Air Force buys 20 propeller-driven attack planes | Killer Apps:
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Well, it looks like the Air Forces at long last was finally able to purchase existing counter-insurgency attack plans in order to hand them over to the Afghan air force. Better late than never...I guess?