Redstone Defence Systems has selected Northrop Grumman to supply its integrated mission avionics for between 700 and 900 U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters. The conversion will mean the change from analog cockpit gauges to digital instruments.
The Black Hawks will be known as UH-60Vs, and the system has been acquired to replicate the same pilot vehicle interface (PVI) that pilots would experience in the modern UH-60M conversion currently sweeping through the U.S. Army’s regular units.
The UH-60V’s open architecture, which is designed to ramp-up UH-60L performance through soft-ware-only solutions and no additional hardware has been demonstrated on a UH-60L helicopter.
The Northrop Grumman upgrade UH-60V glass cockpit that will be installed into U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawks. Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman
The UH-60V will provide a glass cockpit look-alike, but is a cheaper solution intermediate solution and will be particularly useful for training. It is smaller in size, lighter and requires less power than legacy processors.
“We are committed to this critical upgrade program that will prolong the life of the UH-60 while keeping warfighters safer by enhancing their situational awareness,” said Ike Song, vice president, Situational Awareness Systems, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.
According the the company, the digital system is “aligned with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard and supports integration of off-the-shelf software and hardware, enabling rapid insertion of capabilities while reducing cost and risk for system integration and up-grades.” Northrop Grumman is one of the founder members of the FACE consortium.
Northrop stated that it is giving the government unprecedented flexibility with the branding of purpose rights to technical data and software.
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