The Program Executive Office Aviation’s Utility Helicopters Project Office (UHPO) began fielding the first Army National Guard unit with UH-60V Black Hawk helicopters July 27.
The UHPO delivered five UH-60Vs to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Eastern ARNG Aviation Training Site (EAATS) at Fort Indiantown Gap, which becomes the first unit equipped and organically assigned with the aircraft. The sixth and final aircraft will arrive 31 July.
The UH-60V, a recapitalized UH-60L model, has a modern digital cockpit resulting in a similar functionality and capability as the UH-60M. The updated cockpit increases a pilot’s situational awareness while reducing the work load, resulting in a more capable and safer aviation platform. The UH-60V is the first army aircraft to implement an open system architecture, a critical element of the Future Vertical Lift Ecosystem.
Additionally, providing a nearly identical pilot-vehicle interface to the UH-60M enables common training and operational environment which reduces training costs. The UHPO has collaborated with the EAATS, National Guard Bureau, Directorate of Evaluations and Standardization, Army Capabilities Manager-Lift, Directorate of Training and Doctrine, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command to develop a holistic Training Support Package that will enable units to conduct local training to qualify aviators to fly the UH-60V.
“The UH-60V marks the entry into service of the Army’s first helicopter with a modular, open architecture systems design,” said Lt. Col. Dan Thetford, Product Manager for the UH-60V helicopter. “It’s been a collaborative effort among several military organizations and industry to develop and deliver this enhanced capability for the Active Army and Army National Guard, and achieving the First Unit Equipped milestone with EAATS on schedule and within budget is the culmination of those efforts.”
By re-capitalizing the current legacy fleet, the Army will be able to deliver the modernized UH-60V for significantly less than the cost of a new aircraft. The Army plans to convert 760 UH-60L aircraft to the UH-60V configuration and they will remain part of the enduring Utility Helicopter fleet well into the future.
The first tactical unit to be equipped with the UH-60V will be the 1-106th Aviation Regiment, scheduled to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2022.
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