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Artist's Impression of an X-46 landing on a carrier

The Boeing X-46 was a proposed unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) that was to be developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and DARPA as a naval carrier-based variant of the Boeing X-45 UCAV being developed for the U.S. Air Force. Two contracts for technology demonstrators were awarded in June 2000, to Boeing for the X-46A and to Northrop Grumman for the X-47A.

However, in April 2003, the Air Force and the Navy efforts were formally combined under the joint DARPA/USAF/Navy J-UCAV program, later renamed J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems), and the X-46 program was terminated as redundant.

The J-UCAS program was later terminated.[1]

A Navy-only N-UCAS demonstrator program started in the summer of 2006.[2] Boeing will use material developed for the X-46 and X-45 to propose the X-45N as a naval UCAV demonstrator.[3]


  1. "Uncertainty Engulfs Pentagon's Unmanned Aircraft Plans". Aviation Week and Space Technology, 13 September 2002.
  2. "Navy UCAS Program Set To Be Launched Within Weeks". Aviation Week and Space Technology, 21 July 2006.
  3. "Bids are in for U.S. Navys UCAS-D". Aviation Week and Space Technology, 1 April 2007.

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