The X-45A was the first modern unmanned aerial vehicle designed specifically for combat strike missions. The X-45A first flew in May 2002. Air vehicle No. 1 performed the first autonomous flight of a high-performance, combat-capable UAV; the first weapons release from an autonomous UAV; and, with air vehicle No. 2, the first autonomous multivehicle coordinated flight. The X-45A is on display in the Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles exhibit at the National Mall Building.
Image Number: 2008-4225
Credit: Image by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
For print or commercial use please see our permissions page.