The US Navy is hoping to launch UAV aircraft, better known as drones, from aircraft carriers in 2013, in a move which could herald the beginning of the end for US Navy jet pilots.
The pilots were immortalized by Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in the 1986 Hollywood blockbuster, 'Top Gun'.
According to the Telegraph, the Northrop Grumman X47 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is being tested onboard an aircraft carrier, as the US Navy prepares to operate drones.
The move means that the likes of 'Goose' and 'Maverick' from Top Gun could be consigned to the dustbin of history.
The use of drones is controversial because of fears that civilians can be killed and injured by them, the report said.
Human rights campaigners have claimed that civilian deaths resulting from drone strikes constitute a war crime, the report said.
The US has been particularly criticised for its programme of targeted drone killings against militants in Pakistan's tribal heartlands, it added. (ANI)