The X-47B, Navy’s unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator, plugged for the first time into a refueling basket trailing behind an Omega KC-707 tanker.
Images credit Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman announced:
“Northrop Grumman began developing AAR (air-to-air refueling) technology for both Navy and Air Force application nearly a decade ago, pioneering a “hybrid” approach that integrates both GPS and infrared imaging to enhance navigational precision and hedge against GPS disruption. Initial UCAS-D flight testing began in 2012 using a manned Learjet as a surrogate for the X-47B. These successful proof-of-concept flights demonstrated the overall feasibility of the X-47B AAR system and helped refine its navigation, command and control, and infrared sensor processing components.”