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One reason for the company's lack of urgency may have been that by early 2001 US Navy Ucav-N thinking was emphasising a need to perform a twelve-hour surveillance mission at over 1000 km radius, a mission that was given at least as much importance as carrying a warload of 1800 kg over that distance.
Beginning in 2000, the Navy had awarded small Ucav-N study contracts to Northrop Grumman and Boeing, leading to a design contest between the X-47B and X-46, larger derivatives of the X-47 and X-45A technology demonstrators.
If the UCAV-N is developed successfully, its most valuable contribution will be "persistent deep surveillance" that currently is not achievable with manned radar aircraft.
The results of the Pegasus X-47A demonstration will be applied to the UCAV-N. The Pegasus team has focused on integrating avionics software necessary for the autonomy of the vehicle, said a company spokesman.
For example, the Ucav-N is to combine a Sead/strike capability with a twelve-hour endurance in the surveillance role.