Handheld controller used in X-47B tests

The fighter-sized X-47B UCAV successful performed hand-controlled deck maneuvers on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, defense company Rockwell Collins said.

Rockwell Collins said its Tactical Targeting Network Technology was used to put the unmanned combat aerial vehicle through on-deck paces, which were performed ahead of carrier landings by the aircraft planned for this year.

“TTNT is part of the overall command and control architecture for the X-47B, and it plays an essential role in helping the aircraft perform vital functions,” said Bob Haag, vice president and general manager of Communication and Navigation Products for Rockwell Collins.

“We’re pleased that our technology is helping Northrop Grumman and the Navy successfully prepare for the introduction of unmanned aircraft to carrier operations.”

The X-47B demonstrator was built by Northrop Grumman. It’s 38.2 feet long, has a range of 2,100 nautical miles and has two weapons bays.

Rockwell Collins’ TTNT provides a high data rate and long-range communication links for airborne platforms. It is a complement to existing tactical data link networks.