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U.S. Army performs maiden flight of fully upgraded UH-60V Black Hawk


The U.S. Army on Sept. 11 performed the first flight of the modernized UH-60V Black Hawk, which is a retrofit of the UH-60L upgraded with Northrop Grumman’s [NOC] ‘digital cockpit’ suite. This first flight took place at Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD).

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U.S. Army performs maiden flight of fully upgraded UH 60V Black Hawk1 Northrop Grumman provides the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which modernizes the U.S. Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters with a digital, open architecture integrated glass cockpit, including an integrated computational system, visual display system and Control Display Units.(Picture source: Northrop Gruman)


Northrop Grumman provides the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which modernizes the U.S. Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters with a digital, open architecture integrated glass cockpit, including an integrated computational system, visual display system and Control Display Units. This replaces the analog gauges in UH-60L helicopters with an integrated system that provides one of the most advanced avionics systems in the U.S. Army.Northrop Grumman's solution extends the life and mission capabilities of the UH-60 platform.

The modular open systems architecture (MOSA) enhances how new capabilities are acquired and delivered to the Warfighter. With open architecture systems, agencies are free to work with multiple developers to upgrade capabilities. These systems drive competition and enable upgrade regardless of developer, increasing acquisition speed and broadening opportunity for updates during a system’s life. Additional benefits of Northrop Grumman’s open and scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package include enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, decreased workload and life cycle cost, and a common training environment.

Northrop Grumman's approach for the design and implementation of the UH-60V integrated mission equipment package is based on its experience with similar upgrades for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters, U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and the Royal Jordanian Air Force AH-1 programs.

The UH-60V upgrade includes 10-year service life extension for the airframe. The U.S. Army plans to upgrade more than 700 UH-60Ls with the “V” package. Northrop Grumman says low-rate initial production upgrades are currently ongoing.

The unit cost of the H-60 models varies due to differences in specifications, equipment and quantities. For example, the unit cost of the Army's UH-60L Black Hawk is around $6 million while the unit cost of the Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk is $10.2 million.


U.S. Army performs maiden flight of fully upgraded UH 60V Black Hawk 2

U.S. Army testing a UH-60V Black Hawk at Fort Lewis, Washington state (Picture source: U.S. Army)