The UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, enabled by the Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed, OpenLift architecture, has been granted an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Airworthiness Release by the U.S. Army Systems Readiness Directorate. This will allow pilots to fly the UH-60V under all meteorological conditions. The UH-60V with OpenLift upgrades current UH-60L aircraft, replacing the legacy cockpit with a fully open, digital and integrated avionics package. The pilot-vehicle interface is nearly identical to that of the UH-60M, enabling common training and operational employment.
“Achieving IFR airworthiness is a major milestone for the UH-60V with OpenLift.,” said Lindsay McEwen, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “Aircrews can now experience the unique capabilities of this open architecture aircraft under all conditions.”
Open, safe and secure, the UH-60V has achieved airworthiness for its multicore processor – a first for an Army Black Hawk helicopter. This allows the flight-critical systems to be separated safely from the mission software and enables the use of third-party applications. OpenLift has been flight demonstrated on the AH-64E Apache and can be extended to other aircraft of the Enduring Fleet, as well as to the planned aircraft of Future Vertical Lift. It is currently exportable for Black Hawk and other platforms.
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. 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.