18-May-2011 Source: Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) Digital Avionics Suite technology was recently used for the first time in the successful flight of a UH-1N helicopter that serves as an avionics test bed for future rotary wing hardware and software developments.
The Test Bed for Rapid Warfighter Response and Experimentation, known as “T-Rex,” is operated by the U.S. Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement (NACRA), which is based in Patuxent River, Md. T-Rex is the only rotary wing technology test bed currently flown by the Navy.
The Digital Avionics Suite is installed in the back of a retrofitted UH-1N helicopter that has been transferred from the U.S. Marine Corps. The Digital Avionics Suite is a smaller version of the system Northrop Grumman has supplied for the AH-1Z helicopter and allows for test integration with minimal changes to the systems avionics or the aircraft.
The Digital Avionics Suite includes a mission computer allowing for easy system upgrades, two multifunction displays that make critical mission data available to the flight test engineers, and an LN-251 embedded global positioning system/fiber-optic inertial navigation system to provide precise positioning information.
“T-Rex allowed us to quickly and easily demonstrate enhanced combat capability concepts for a warfighting platform,” said Lt. Col. John Selby, the AH-1W/UH-1N platform team lead of the Marine Corps Light Attack Helicopter Program. “This capability