Military

Additional AH-64Es, UH-60Vs advised by SASC

By Frank Wolfe | May 23, 2019
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Northrop Grumman builds the Integrated Avionics Suite for the digital cockpit of the UH-60V helicopter (Northrop Grumman photo)

The Boeing AH-64E attack helicopter and the Sikorsky UH-60V are the two prominent rotorcraft plus-ups in the Senate Armed Services Committee's (SASC) version of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill, S. 1215.

In addition to the 48 re-manufactured AH-64D to AH-64E models requested by the U.S. Army, the SASC mark-up recommends $105 million extra for three new build AH-64E Apache Guardians.

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The committee also advised $203 million for 33 cockpit kit upgrades of the UH-60L to the UH-60V — eight more kits than requested by the Army. Fiscal 2018 was the first year of such conversions, which provides the older model Black Hawk helicopters with an integrated digital map, integrated performance planning, common functionality and commonality of training with the UH-60M, according to the Pentagon.

SASC recommended nearly $1.3 billion for the buy of 66 UH-60M Blackhawks — seven fewer than requested by the Army. The UH-60M, a digital networked platform with greater range and lift than the UH-60L, supports Army operational commanders in air assault, command and control, and aeromedical evacuations.

The committee also funded the president's budget request for 10 Navy CMV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft by Bell and Boeing, six Sikorsky VH-92A presidential helicopters, 9 Boeing MH-47G Army special operations helicopters, and six Marine CH-53K King Stallion helicopters by Sikorsky.

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