US Navy launches first unmanned air vehicle test squadron

The US Navy commissioned its first unmanned air vehicle test and evaluation squadron in a ceremony on 18 October.

The new unit will be called Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 24 (UX-24) and will be based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River?s Webster Outlying Field near St. Inigoes, Maryland. It will fly a mix of 23 fixed and rotary UAVs, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout, AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma, Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack and Aeronautics RQ-26 Aerostar.

The ceremony marked the squadron?s official transition from what was formerly known as Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division?s UAS Test Directorate.