ARC-210 radios from Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins provided voice communications to support the first flight of the United States Navy/Northrop Grumman X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.
The X-47B will be the first tailless unmanned aircraft to autonomously operate from an aircraft carrier. The flight test was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The test program includes catapult launches and arrested landings from the carrier, autonomous carrier control area operations and precise movement of the aircraft on the flight deck.
““We congratulate the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman on the successful first flight of the X-47B,” said David Vos, senior director of unmanned airborne systems and control technologies for Rockwell Collins. “By equipping the X-47B with Rockwell Collins’ proven communication systems, this aircraft system is well-positioned to provide immediate, real-time, secure communications for the U.S. Navy UCAS-D program.”
The first carrier landing and subsequent sea trials are planned for 2013. Northrop Grumman is under contract with the Navy to provide two aircraft for the demonstration and technology maturation activites.
The program uses ARC-210 radios for voice communication for Unmanned Air Systems controllers and traffic control along with back-up data link communication from the ground station to the X-47B aircraft.