The US Navy’s only maritime UH-1N testbed aircraft helicopter has successfully demonstrated prototyped airborne capability to link ground and airborne networks at the US Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, US.

The testbed for rapid warfighter response and experimentation technology, dubbed T-Rex, has been developed and provided by Northrop Grumman’s Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory for improved tactical battlefield situational awareness.

The risk reduction / rapid test capability is centred on a fleet platform, a former US Marine Corps UH-1N Huey light utility helicopter, and has been configured as a dedicated flying test bed.

The aircraft is equipped with communications, navigational and survivability equipment that includes a 1553 data bus, ARC-210 radios, embedded GPS and an external sensor with in-dash display.

Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement director Doug Isleib said the technology provides beyond line of sight access to voice / data / imagery and targeting information to marines or sailors in isolated units.