The UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, enabled by the Northrop Grumman Corporation integrated avionics suite, has entered service with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s unit at Fort Indiantown Gap. This First Unit Equipped milestone marks the entry into service of the Army’s first helicopter with a modular, open architecture systems design, Northrop Grumman’s OpenLift. The UH-60V enhances aircrew situational understanding and mission safety while reducing pilot workload.
“The UH-60V’s entry into service is a capstone achievement that speaks to the whole team’s dedication, commitment and longtime partnership with the Army and the National Guard. We’ve now brought a transformational aircraft to fruition. The OpenLift modular, open systems architecture gives the Army a highly survivable UH-60 that can be upgraded over time to meet changing mission requirements, and it bridges the enduring and Future Vertical Lift fleets,” said James Conroy, vice president, navigation, targeting & survivability, Northrop Grumman.
OpenLift, Northrop Grumman’s modular open systems architecture for the UH-60V Black Hawk Helicopter, can be adapted to numerous aircraft and is approved for export. The pilot-vehicle interface is nearly identical to that of the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk, enabling common training and operational employment. The system has been certified by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation Missile Center for operation under Visual Flight Rules.
In 2017, Northrop Grumman won a US Army contract to upgrade Black Hawk L-model helicopter cockpits from analogue to integrated, open-architecture digital ones. The converted version is called the Victor-model. The Victor model converts a Lima-model Black Hawk from an analogue cockpit to a digital one. This replacement better matches the capability of the UH-60 Mike-model, the latest variant of the helicopter. But its success could serve as springboard for the U.S. Army’s future vertical lift backbone, which will allow mission systems to seamlessly plug into the architecture of the aircraft.