Northrup Grumman to modernize Blackhawk cockpit for U.S. Army
Aug. 18, 2014, Woodland Hills, Ca. - Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by Redstone Defense Systems to supply and integrate mission avionics equipment for a digital cockpit upgrade of the U.S. Army's UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters.
By Carey Fredericks
Northrop Grumman will provide a scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package for the UH‑60L cockpit and will replace the older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays. The new designation for this upgraded aircraft will be UH-60V. The system virtually replicates the newer UH‑60M pilot-vehicle interface, providing a common training environment.
Northrop Grumman's design solution has already been demonstrated through a flight test on a UH-60L helicopter. The system features a centralized processor with a partitioned, modular operational flight program with an integrated architecture that enables new capabilities through software-only solutions rather than hardware additions. The architecture maximizes the UH-60L platform performance and reliability while minimizing total life cycle cost. The system is also smaller in size, lower in weight and requires less power than legacy processing systems.
"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. "Our integrated mission avionics solution is built on mature, proven technology and an open architecture approach for superior performance, affordability, growth potential and reliability."
The next generation avionics 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 upgrades. Northrop Grumman is providing full, unlimited government purpose rights to technical data and software, providing the customer with unprecedented flexibility while eliminating vendor lock and mitigating obsolescence issues.
An estimated 700 to 900 aircraft are expected to be modified under the UH‑60V digital cockpit upgrade, which represents the first fully integrated avionics system for Army utility aircraft.