Boeing‘s AH-64D Apache block III prototype helicopter has successfully completed level IV unmanned aircraft system (UAS) connectivity demonstration.

The level IV UAS connectivity being developed for the US Army’s Apache block III attack helicopter programme gives its crew complete control of the navigation of an allotted UAS.

The test proved the Apache’s capability of controlling the UAS through a tactical common data link connection enabling the crew to receive real-time video from the UAS and alter the aircraft’s airspeed and altitude.

The new technology better protects the aircraft and its crew through improved situational awareness and over-the-horizon, beyond line-of-sight reconnaissance, Boeing said.

For this demonstration Boeing used an AH-6 helicopter as a substitute for the Sky Warrior extended range / multipurpose UAS, which is not yet available.