Manned and Unmanned Carrier Ops - Together!

A first for naval aviation - the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt conducted both manned and unmanned flight operations off of its carrier deck simultaneously!

The fighter-sized unmanned X-47B and the F/A-18 Hornet were launched in rapid succession, and after an 8-minute flight, the X-47B made an arrested landing, folded its wings, and taxied clear of the landing area, allowing the F/A-18 to land shortly thereafter.

This test sequence will be repeated from the USS Theodore Roosevelt for the next 10 days, and will also include night operations. The Navy plans to refine manned/unmanned flight operations and integration over the next year, in preparation for its Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system.

Here's a video showing some highlights from the first combined operation: