On the outside, the new UH-60V Black Hawk helicopters look nearly identical to previous variants of the UH-60. It’s what’s on the inside that sets them apart. The UH-60V – referred to as the “Victor” – was developed with a focus to overhaul the aging UH-60A and L fleets. The new model has several technological advancements that makes it easier to operate than older variants, including an upgraded digital glass cockpit, certified GPS RNAV database and advanced flight planning and mission capability. The Pennsylvania National Guard’s Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap received six Victors in July. Since then, over 20 instructor pilots at EAATS have become certified to teach other pilots how to operate them.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Justin Meyer, also an instructor pilot at EAATS and the course manager for the UH-60V course said,”Transitioning to the Victor is fairly seamless for pilots who’ve flown both UH-60 A/Ls and UH-60Ms. The digital aspect, I think a lot of people grasp that quickly. After a few flights, I think everyone feels fairly comfortable with flying the aircraft. One of the biggest upgrades, Meyer said, is a “time-ahead, time-behind” feature that calculates an estimated time of arrival based on the distance and the aircraft’s speed. The feature, which has been standard on smart phone apps and civilian GPS devices for a number of years, wasn’t available on A/Ls.
The Pennsylvania National Guard’s Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) received the first fielding of UH-60V Black Hawks from the Utility Helicopter Program Office (UHPO) on July 27. The UH-60V helicopter was developed with a focus on overhauling the aging UH-60A/L fleet. The “V” model includes an upgraded digital glass cockpit, certified GPS RNAV database and advanced flight planning and mission capability. EAATS has collaborated with the National Guard Bureau; UHPO; Directorate of Evaluations and Standardization; Army Capabilities Manager-Lift; Directorate of Training and Doctrine; and Army Test and Evaluation Command to develop a holistic training support package that will enable units to conduct local training to qualify aviators in the UH-60V.
EAATS is a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command-accredited institution of excellence located at Fort Indiantown Gap’s Muir Army Airfield. It conducts individual aviator qualification training, enlisted aviation training and non-commissioned officer professional development. EAATS’s utility helicopter mission is focused on UH-60M/V training for aircraft mechanics and crew members from the Army National Guard, active-duty Army and Army Reserve, and foreign militaries. In late October, four pilots from the Illinois Army National Guard became the first students to graduate from the UH-60V course at EAATS. They will return to their unit to train other pilots there, and they will also take part in the IOT and E. If all goes according to plan, the Pennsylvania National Guard is expected to eventually receive 10 additional UH-60Vs, Zerbe said. They will most likely be assigned to C Co., 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Johnstown.