23 September 2013 airforce-technology.com
The US Air Force Air National Guard, with Georgia Tech Research Institute, has completed the assessment and demonstration of the single channel ground and airborne radio system situational awareness (SINCGARS SA) waveform capability on Beechcraft's AT-6 light attack aircraft.
As part of the demonstration, the dual ARC-210 Warrior Radios of the AT-6 were configured, allowing the aircraft to securely and directly communicate with three different joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC) at a time, who were positioned to perform several, realistic combat situations.
The technology is a software-controlled high-frequency radio and is expected to play a key role in military armed reconnaissance by providing digital communication and global positioning services (GPS) in both fixed and mobile configurations.
Encouraged by the successful demonstration of the SINCGARS SA Waveform, US military is now expected to further develop tactics in its close air support (CAS), combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) and combat search-and-rescue task force (CSARTF) missions going forward.
AT-6 became the first aircraft to use the new technology capability; it has reportedly transmitted and received tactical audio and dynamic position locations with fielded combat ground radios successfully during assessment.
Beechcraft Defense Company president Russ Bartlett said: "Beechcraft's AT-6 was selected as the first fixed-wing aircraft to perform this demonstration due to its advanced communications and data transfer capabilities, which enables it to perform complex close air support and combat search-and-rescue missions."
At the time of demonstration, the ground forces were carrying PRC-148, PRC-152 and PRC-117 radios, said Beechcraft.
Designed for light attack missions in the most demanding scenarios, AT-6 is equipped with Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68D engine, CMC Esterline's mission modified Cockpit 4000, Lockheed Martin's A-10C-based mission system and L-3 WESCAM's MX-15Di sensor suite, the company said.