The US Navy commissioned its first unmanned air vehicle test and evaluation squadron, which will fly a mix of 23 fixed and rotary UAVs, including the Aeronautics RQ-26 Aerostar.
“This squadron centralizes the Navy’s technical excellence in unmanned aviation,” says Cmdr Matthew Densing, who leads the squadron. “As the Navy continues to require the broad range of capability offered by UAS, UX-24 will always challenge the status quo.”
Establishment of UX-24 was approved last April by Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson. The goal of the new squadron is to provide research, development, test and evaluation support for Navy and Marine Corps UAS, as growth in the field required the establishment of a command dedicated solely to that mission.
The USN and USMC are increasingly using UAVs for a variety of missions, especially intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance roles. The services are also examining ways to use UAVs in armed combat.