UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crew of the 3rd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st armored division completed aerial gunnery at Fort Bliss, Texas, 12 December 2017, maintaining their combat readiness and M240 machine gun skills. (U. S. Army photos by Capt. Tyson Brother, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)
For 40 years, the Black Hawk is flown by the Army, and now this legendary helicopter is set to become more powerful with new futuristic cockpit.
The upgrade will give the Army pilots ultra-advanced capabilities in the cockpit, in combination with the strength of this classic military helicopter. The analog cockpits goes digital.
The UH-60V Black Hawk program is the modernization of the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters via cockpit upgrade and Northrop Grumman is providing the digital cockpit avionics.
With this upgrade, the Army is replacing the Black Hawk UH-60L analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays.
As soon as UH-60Ls to be upgraded with the-state-of-the-art cockpits, they are UH-60Vs which is essentially replicate the UH-60M cockpit experience and the possibilities at the fingertips of the Army pilots.
The upgrade is expected, which means less workload for the pilots, but the more advanced features which they can use for powerful advantages in battle.
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Pilots with improved situational awareness and better mission safety.
File photo – Black Hawk night operation in Iraq (us Army)
More Army pilots got an important step closer to flying with this cutting-edge ones such as Northrop Grumman recently delivered the software to the U.S. Army for integration into the UH-60V Black Hawk.
Back in January, 2017 in Huntsville, Alabama, the UH-60V Black Hawk was equipped with the new, futuristic digital cockpit flew for the first time.
Exciting features in the futuristic cockpit
From analog to digital is a big shift. This new advanced cockpit for the UH-60M helicopters offer a range of advantages.
The digital cockpits will feature advanced features such as a digital map, four multi-function displays and Stormscope.
The cockpit is also equipped with a Dual Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (EGI), four-axis fully coupled flight director and Joint Variable Message Format (JVMF) messages.
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There is also an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System with Crash Survival Memory Unit.
New Black Hawk cockpit (Northrop Grumman)
The UH-60V digital cockpit meets the military of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard. This means that the Army is quick to insert and integrate different off-the-shelf hardware and software for a further upgrade of the helicopter.
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Black Hawk mission
Made by Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, Black Hawks are very versatile and the military power of the helicopter for a series of important missions.
The UH-60 Black Hawks are updated versions of the original UH-60A Black Hawk, which entered service with the U.S. Army in 1978.
The Black Hawks are animals in the heaving of 9000 kilos on approximately 22,000 pounds. They can the 9000-internal, external, or a combination of the two.
Cargo hooks, and sling-load can be used for the transport of supplies. They are even strong enough to do some types of combat vehicles deep into war zones. Without ever landing, the deliveries and the vehicles can be delivered to the ground.
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The supply of troops directly into combat is a primary task for these giants. They can carry about 12 fully equipped soldiers and many more, if less equipped.
File picture (us Army)
Black Hawks can be armed with various weapon systems. Some options are 7.62 machine guns, .50-cal machine guns, mini-guns, Hellfire missiles, Stinger anti-air missiles, rockets and much more. Electro-optical sensors can be used to improve the accuracy.
For armed assault missions, soldiers often use door or window guns. Special operations teams often use fast ropes to quickly insert a number while in the Black Hawk helicopter hovers above.
Very sturdy, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to be able to withstand enemy small arms fire and many other projectiles. The floors of the Black Hawk can be armed and even the fuel system is designed to be crash-resistant and self-adhesive closure.
To undertake more tasks or missions further afield, it is possible to the 200-litre internal or external fuel tanks.
Black Hawks also play a vital role in combat search and rescue. On these missions, the helicopters bring the possibilities like rescue hoists and electro-optical sensors to find the soldier or soldiers.
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For example, if a fighter pilot is shot down and ejected behind enemy lines, powerful helicopters with advanced sensors to help conduct search missions. Sufficient weapons can also deal with enemy activities, which is a clear advantage in the search and rescue of the downed pilot.
Black Hawks are also crucial for a medical evacuation and the saving of the lives of the soldiers. The helo functions as a kind of battlefield ambulance. The 60M MEDVAC is specially designed to fly to the wounded and evacuate, but other variants can be rapidly adapted to switch seats for litters for the wounded.
Electronic warfare, armed escort and the transport of military and government vips in war zones are just a few of the missions Black Hawks to take.
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What is the following?
During the testing of the Northrop Grumman an evaluation of the futuristic cockpit of the operational readiness, the capabilities, and compatibility with the UH-60M pilot-helo-interface.
The UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter is slated to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP) next year. The digital cockpit upgrade should help extend the life of the Black Hawks and the improving of the possibilities of side-missions to go.
Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries, who recommends the highest level of defence and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, to purchase, in 30 countries. Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”, where she gives listeners a direct access to the most fascinating of the Special Operations warriors each week and to learn more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist, click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.