High-tech new model of Army’s Black Hawk helicopter passes initial testing
Stars and Stripes August 25, 2022
The Army is closer to introducing a new version of its workhorse Black Hawk helicopter, aiming to ramp up production in the coming year.
While looking almost identical to the original UH-60L, the updated model has a completely overhauled cockpit, as the analog gauges have given way to a digital display.
Manufacturer Northrop-Grumman bills the new setup in the UH-60V, known as the Victor, as one of the most advanced avionics systems in the Army.
The integrated upgrade provides pilots with more situational awareness and cuts down on both workload and cost, according to the company.
Displays use real-time data from the flight to tell pilots if they are ahead of or behind schedule and also map out every leg of the flight.
Initial testing on the Victor began July 5 and wrapped up a month later after 200 flight hours.
Successful completion of the testing “allows the Army to make an informed decision on transitioning the UH-60V to full production,” product manager Lt. Col. Howard Swanson said in an Army statement.
Chief Warrant Officer Justin Meyer, an instructor pilot in the Pennsylvania National Guard, said in an Army statement that the upgraded helicopter is a very easy transition for pilots who have flown previous models.
Results from the testing are expected to come out within the next month and the follow up report from the Army Test and Evaluation command should follow as early as December.