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Boeing X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System

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This object is on display in the Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) exhibition at the National Mall building.


First flown in 2002, the X-45A was the first modern UAV designed specifically for combat strike missions. The stealthy, swept-wing jet has fully retractable landing gear and a composite, fiber-reinforced epoxy skin. Its fuselage houses two internal weapons bays. The X-45 project was first managed by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, but in 2003 the Air Force and Navy consolidated the X-45 and X-47 programs under the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System Office.

This X-45A, named The Elsie May, accomplished several firsts during testing. Among them: the first autonomous flight of a high-performance, combat-capable UAV; the first weapons release from an autonomous UAV; and, with Air Vehicle #2, the first autonomous multi-vehicle coordinated flight. Only two X-45A scaled-down technology demonstrators were built. Flight tests successfully concluded in 2005.

Transferred by the U.S. Air Force

Date: 2004

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Span: 10.31m (33 ft 8 in)
Length: 8.03m (26 ft 5 in)
Height: 1.13 m (3 ft 7 in)
Weight (empty): 3,629 kg (8,000 lb)

Physical Description:Jet-powered, "stealthy" Combat Aerial Vehicle. Designed specifically for offensive combat operations above the battlefield. One of two technology demonstration aircraft for the Joint Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (later Air System) program.

Inventory number: A20070231000

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