Contract Awarded for Black Hawk Digital Cockpit Upgrade

 - August 21, 2014, 8:40 AM
The panel of the UH-60V Black Hawk will replicate the pilot interface of the UH-60M, Northrop Grumman said. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman will supply mission avionics for 700 to 900 U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters, upgrading them to a UH-60V designation, the company said. Redstone Defense Systems, of Huntsville, Ala., awarded the contract of undisclosed value.

As a cost-saving measure, the Army plans to upgrade existing Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawks with analog cockpit instrumentation to UH-60M digital standard, rather than acquiring new UH-60Ms. The V-model cockpit will replicate the pilot-vehicle interface of the M model, supporting common training. Last year, the Army established a UH-60L Digital product office to oversee the upgrade.

In an August 15 press release, Northrop Grumman said it will provide a “scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package” that has already been flight-tested on a UH-60L. The system is based on an integrated architecture with a centralized processor and partitioned operating system, enabling “new capabilities through software-only solutions.” It aligns with the Future Airborne Capability Environment, or FACE, an industry and government effort to develop open avionics standards.

The company said it will provide the Army full government-purpose rights to the system’s technical data and software.