Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the U.S. Army Prototype Integration Facility and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems, has successfully completed the first flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter.
Northrop Grumman provided the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which upgrades the U.S. Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters with a digital cockpit, under a contract awarded in 2014. The scalable, fully integrated and open architecture-based cockpit design replaces older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays in the upgraded aircraft. The UH-60V features one of the Army’s most advanced avionics solutions, enabling the complex missions of the army aviation warfighter.
On Jan. 19, the UH-60V Black Hawk successfully flew for the first time with this digitized cockpit in Huntsville. This important milestone was the culmination of a cockpit design and development effort that was completed on schedule within 29 months of the original contract award. The team’s accomplishment achieves the specific timeline set by Army leadership over two years prior to the first flight.
“This UH-60V first flight accomplishment reaffirms our open, safe and secure cockpit solutions that will enable the most advanced capabilities for warfighters,” said Ike Song, vice president, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman. “We remain committed to delivering an affordable, low-risk solution that provides long-term value and flexibility to customers.”
The UH-60V digital cockpit solution is aligned with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) standard and supports integration of off-the-shelf hardware and software, enabling rapid insertion of capabilities in multiple avionics platforms while reducing cost and risk for system integration and upgrades. The open architecture approach provides greater flexibility and enables upgrades to be done with or without the original equipment manufacturer’s involvement.
The UH-60V meets the standards for safety-critical software development and is designed to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s Global Air Traffic Management requirements, enabling the system to traverse military and civilian airspace worldwide. It is also certifiable and compliant with safety-critical avionics standards such as DO-178C.
The UH-60V Black Hawk program will modernize the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters through cost-effective cockpit upgrades. The new system is nearly identical to the UH‑60M pilot-vehicle interface, providing common training and operational employment.