Navy X-47B Unmanned Fighter Jet Drone Has Autonomous AI, Shaped Like UFO

Patrick Frye

The Navy X-47B unmanned fighter jet drone designed by Grumman launched from the USS George HW Bush carrier in the Atlantic Ocean.

The profile of the X-47B unmanned fighter jet drone can easily be likened to the stereotypical UFO. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this is exactly what happened in Washington D.C. when many people spotted the canvas draped X-47B unmanned fighter jet drone being carried across town by truck.

The X-47B unmanned fighter jet apparently comes packaged with some sort of limited artificial intelligence, or AI, that allows the X-47B to fly autonomously. Previous unmanned drones were directly controlled via wireless connections by ground-based controllers, but the X-47B unmanned fighter jet "relies on computer programs to tell it where it to go unless a mission operator needs to step in."

No word on whether this AI software allows the X-47B to make unilateral decisions or if it's completely pre-programmed with targets before any mission. Human Rights Watch has called on the US government to enact a prohibition on the development and use of any unmanned drone systems that carry weapons and are fully autonomous.

Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, explains why:

"For us, the question is where do you draw line? We're saying you need to draw the line when you have a fully autonomous system that is weaponized. We're saying you must have meaningful human control over key battlefield decisions of who lives and who dies. That should not be left up to the weapons system itself."

The first test flight of the X-47B unmanned fighter jet took place on September 30, 2011, at the Edwards Air Force Base. With a wingspan of 62 feet the plane has a range of over 2,100 nautical miles and a payload capacity of 4,500 pounds. It can also fly at a maximum of 40,000 feet at high subsonic speeds which will make it faster than either of its drone brethren, the Predator and Reaper.

The test launch from the George HW Bush carrier is a "milestone" as it marked the first launch of an armed unmanned drone from a carrier at sea. The X-47B can also land itself onto the carrier, although this capability ability hasn't been tested yet. The next step for the X-47B is to demonstrate that it can refuel in the air.

What do you think about this Navy X-47B unmanned fighter jet having both weapons and autonomous AI?