The US Army’s first UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter equipped with Northrop Grumman’s integrated avionics suite has entered service with the Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG).

The suite modernises the army’s Lima-model UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which have old analogue dial instrumentation, to a Victor (V) model featuring a full glass digital suite cockpit.

According to the company, the integrated mission equipment package of UH-60V offers OpenLift open architecture and an upgraded glass cockpit, including an integrated computational system, visual display system and Control Display Units.

Northrop Grumman navigation, targeting and survivability vice-president James Conroy said: “The UH-60V’s entry into service is a capstone achievement that speaks to the whole team’s dedication, commitment and long-time 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.”

Northrop stated that OpenLift can be adapted to numerous aircraft and has received approval for export.

The UH-60V improves aircrew situational understanding and mission safety. It also optimises the pilot workload.

The UH-60V’s pilot-vehicle interface is almost similar to that of the UH-60M. This similarity enables common training and operational deployment.

The US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Aviation Missile Center certified the system for operation under Visual Flight Rules.

In July 2018, the US Army received delivery of Northrop Grumman software to be integrated onto the service’s UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter.

Under a contract awarded in 2014, the company provided the US Army with the integrated avionics suite for the UH-60V helicopter.