Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army and industry partner Northrop Grumman completed the first flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter.
The UH-60V features upgrades from the Army's UH-60L configuration, including digital cockpit enhancements. The Army contracted Northrop Grumman to perform the upgrades for the aircraft in 2014.
"This UH-60V first flight accomplishment reaffirms our open, safe and secure cockpit solutions that will enable the most advanced capabilities for warfighters," Northrop Grumman mission solutions vice president Ike Song said in a press release. "We remain committed to delivering an affordable, low-risk solution that provides long-term value and flexibility to customers."
The UH-60V Black Hawk's digital cockpit is fitted with the Future Airborne Capability Environment standard, allowing integration of new avionics equipment in the future.
The upgrade program aims to modernize the Army's UH-60L helicopter fleet. The package replaces UH-60L analogue gauges with electronic equipment displays. In addition to extending the service life for the platform, Northrop Grumman says the upgrades decrease workload for pilots, enhance situational awareness, and improve interoperability.
The UH-60V upgrade is based on the AH-1Z and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye enhancements performed for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.