Northrop Grumman [NOC] said Wednesday it has completed initial operational test and evaluation for ‘digital cockpit’ upgrades it has provided for the avionics suite on the Army’s UH-60V Black Hawk helicopters.

The successful IOT&E milestone for the avionics upgrade suite sets up the Army for a full-rate production decision in the near future.

Northrop Grumman’s digital cockpit will keep the U.S. Army’s legacy Black Hawk aircraft in the fight for decades to come. The system recently completed initial operational test and evaluation. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

“Northrop Grumman’s scalable, fully integrated avionics system will ensure the legacy Black Hawk fleet remains at the forefront of combat capability for decades to come. It is designed with a secure, open architecture that provides greater mission flexibility and a rapid upgrade path,” James Conroy, the company’s vice president for navigation, targeting and survivability, said in a statement. 

The UH-60V Black Hawk is a retrofit of its UH-60L’s upgraded with Northrop Grumman’s ‘digital cockpit’ suite to increase pilot awareness and enhance navigational functionality by moving from an analog architecture to a digital infrastructure enabling a pilot-vehicle interface.

“Benefits include enhanced pilot situational understanding and mission safety, as well as decreased pilot workload and life cycle cost. Additionally, providing a nearly identical pilot-vehicle interface to the UH-60M enables common training and operational employment,” the company wrote in a statement.