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13 August 2013

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"The UCLASS is meant to be a developmental follow-on to Northrop Grumman's X-47A Pegasus, which famously made a few arresting-wire landings on the George H.W. Bush late last month. And for some time, we've known that the four competitors in the program are Northrop Grumman's X-47B 'Iron Raven'"

The X-47A was never used for any of this, it was a much smaller, company-funded drone of very different configuration, used for the UCAS-D program. The X-47B grew out of UCAS-D, was being used for UCAS-N/UCLASS and made the carrier launches and landings plus simulated landings and launches on land. The X-47C would be the proposed follow-on, if things go NG's way.

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  • James Hasik is a senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, and an associate professor of the practice of industrial studies at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, a college of the National Defense University in Washington DC. Since September 2001, he has been studying global security challenges and the economic enterprises that provide the tools to address them. His opinions are not necessarily those of the NDU, the Defense Department, or the US federal government at all.

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