Northrop Grumman is demonstrating new aircraft survivability, navigation and data link equipment on board the U.S. Navy's T-Rex UH-1N test bed aircraft, the company said Tuesday.
The technology, which was developed as part of the company's Northrop Grumman's Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory (RAIL), utilizes an Internet Protocol (IP)-based, mesh-enabled, beyond-line-of-sight network to transmit and receive sensor meta-data and imagery from the battlefield to provide a common operational picture showcasing network-centric multi-platform collaboration, according to Northrop Grumman.
"Several field-ready upgrade capabilities were integrated into existing systems to produce solutions our warfighters need, including threat geolocation, sensor cross-cueing, transmission of video and threat data, and scene-stitched imagery to provide situational awareness around the platform," said Hao Tran, director of Advanced Concepts and Technologies for Northrop Grumman's Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division. "In addition, we successfully introduced Northrop Grumman's multifunction Advanced Threat Warner onboard a helicopter providing a four-in-one capability in a single sensor, including missile warning, laser warning, hostile fire detection and sensor video."
The joint U.S. Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement (NACRA) and Northrop Grumman team integrated, installed and flew a complete avionics suite on the NACRA UH-1N T-Rex helicopter with more than 10 products from multiple companies, including aircraft survivability equipment, the APR-39 Aircraft Survivability Equipment suite controller function, data link and networking equipment, navigation equipment, sensor suites, and display systems integrated together in an open architecture environment.
T-Rex is operated by NACRA, based in Patuxent River, Md., and is the only rotary-wing technology test bed currently flown by the Navy.