NORFOLK (AP) -- The Navy says tests have demonstrated a drone's ability to integrate with the environment of an aircraft carrier.
The X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator was tested Saturday and Sunday during flight operations aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
The Navy says in a news release that touch and go maneuvers generated data characterizing the environment in close proximity of the carrier's flight deck.
The drone also completed arrested landings and catapult landings and participated in flight deck handling drills.
Each 45-minute flight was monitored by mission operators from a portable command and control unit.
Rear Adm. Mat Winter says the weekend tests are a significant step toward integrating unmanned capabilities into the Navy's carrier airwings and aircraft carrier environments.
"The Navy remains steadfast in its commitment to maturing today's technologies which have established a realistic path to tomorrow's affordable, flexible unmanned carrier aviation capabilities for our warfighters," he said.
Carrier-based tests of the X-47B began in December 2012 with flight deck operations aboard USS Harry S. Truman. Carrier testing resumed in May 2013 aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), where the X-47B completed its first carrier-based catapult launch, followed by its first carrier-based arrested landing in July.