NSA 407MRH Demos Hughes Network Systems Satcom

By S.L. Fuller | February 13, 2017
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Photo courtesy of NorthStar Aviation

A NorthStar Aviation 407MRH recently demonstrated Hughes Network Systems satcom capability, Hughes said. The company’s Defense and Intelligence Systems Division recently transmitted 360-degree beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) high-definition (HD) video through the helicopter’s rotating blades.

The solution integrates the Hughes HM200 airborne modem with two lightweight antennas mounted on top of the aircraft’s weapons platform through a roll-on/roll-off installation. These antennas are 50% lighter than previous systems and can be adapted to any helicopter platform because of its love size, weight and power (SWaP) properties.


"The system will enhance the commander's ability to make decisions on the ground based on real-time situational awareness," Terry Key, EVP and chief pilot of NorthStar Aviation, said. "BLoS adds another critical piece to the ever changing operational environment."

The NorthStar Aviation 407MRH is based on the Bell Helicopter 407MRH airframe. The NorthStar version allows its team to design, prototype and test systems significantly faster than an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) most likely can. A multi-role attack aircraft, the NSA 407MRH has light attack, close air support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; light assault; and passenger transport capabilities. It features a Garmin G1000H system and a four-station, light weight weapons platform. The mission management system has integrated moving map, tactical multi-band radios and Mode IV Identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders. And the armored cockpit cabin has an integrated weapons management system that includes a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) snensor, microwave downlink system, tactical air navigation system (TACAN), and internal and external night vision goggle (NVG) compatibility.

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