The US Army has introduced its new UH-60V helicopter — an upgraded variant of the iconic Black Hawk — featuring several technological advancements that allow for easy operation during challenging missions.
Dubbed “Victor,” the new upgraded Black Hawk features an improved digital glass cockpit, a certified GPS database, and advanced flight planning and mission capabilities. It also has a digital interface, which reportedly allows operators to see everything on screen.
“There’s no what they call steam gauges or regular gauges like you have in your car,” Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frank Madeira said in a press release. “It’s all digital information that’s being pushed on the screen for you to look at, and they can move it to where they need it to be on the screen.”
Additionally, the new UH-60V has a “time-ahead, time-behind” feature that calculates the estimated time of arrival based on the destination and aircraft speed.
The helicopter’s software is also reportedly easier to upgrade than previous Black Hawks, allowing soldiers to quickly grasp the aircraft’s capabilities and get comfortable operating it.
UH-60V Black Hawk First Flight! Newest configuration of Army's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at Corpus Christi Army Depot. Inducted as a UH-60 Lima (L model) airframe, CCAD configured helicopter into the current UH-60 Victor (V model). #WinningMatters #ArmyAviation #CCArmyDepot pic.twitter.com/pd5FWOKEPV
— CC Army Depot (@CCADPAO) September 11, 2020
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Justin Meyer explained that military pilots who have already operated the UH-60 A/Ls and UH-60Ms will have an easier time mastering how to use the new and enhanced Black Hawk variant.
“That’s probably the toughest part in the beginning, getting that time in the aircraft to understand its capabilities, and then once you understand the capabilities and they come out with a change, you’re like, ‘Cool!’” Madeira added.
Army aviation officer Lt. Col. Timothy Zerbe said that the technological advancements on the new aircraft will provide American armed forces “greater capabilities” on the battlefield.
The UH-60V helicopter is scheduled to undergo initial operational testing next year before moving into the full production phase.
Once the trial period is complete, 10 units of the UH-60V Black Hawks are expected to be delivered to the Pennsylvania National Guard 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion.