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Wrapped up in brown paper: the new stealth bomber!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 8th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Adorned in brown butcher paper like a crudely wrapped present, this package is in all actuality the world's first unmanned, robot aircraft piloted by artificial intelligence. The stealth drone was slowly pulled on to an aircraft elevator from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The vessel is scheduled to be the first aircraft carrier to catapult-launch the the X-47B drone unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. In development over the past five years, the X-47B drone is designed to take off, fly a pre-programmed mission then return to base - with the few clicks of a mouse on a computer.

The U.S. military's latest robot weapon, the stealth comes at a time of heightened fears that the handing over of warfare to artificial intelligence could lead to unforeseen consequences.
 
The difference between the X-47B and previous drones is that it will not be pilot movement by movement by a remote - like a remote control car would be. Instead, it will be controlled by a forearm-mounted box called the "Control Display Unit" which can independently think for itself, plotting course corrections and charting new directions.

The stealth is the size of a jet fighter, yet without a tail fin, the stealth drone is produced by Northrop Grumman. The craft became controversial after it was mistaken for a genuine UFO as it was transported through Washington D.C. The stealth was built at a cost of $6.2 billion.

The USS George H.W. Bush, which will launch the bomber, is one of the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the largest warships in the world and is longer than three football fields.

It will be a historic event, as no other former president has visited a carrier named after him. Former president Ronald Reagan was the first living ex-president to have a carrier named in his honor, but he was unable to visit the vessel before he died.

Bush had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988 to be the nation's 41st president. Bush has a long record of military service, beginning with his enlistment in the Navy in World War II and at one point, was the nation's youngest naval aviator.

Bush currently suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility.

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