US Army National Guard to get first UH-60Vs this month

WASHINGTON, 24 July 2021, (TON):  A U.S. Army National Guard unit is set to get the first Victor-model Black Hawks this month, Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, the program executive officer for Army aviation, said in a July 21 press event at the Army Aviation Center of Excellence’s industry day at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

The UH-60V converts a Lima-model Black Hawk from an analog cockpit to a digital one, intended to better match the capability of a Mike-model, the latest variant of the helicopter.

The Victor-model is the first foray into an open architecture system for the Army’s fleet of helicopters and could serve as a foundation or model for the service as it attempts to field two future vertical lift aircraft by 2030 with modular open system backbones that will allow for easy capability upgrades, plug-and-play mission systems and promote system-level competition throughout their life cycles.

Redstone Defense Systems won an Army contract to take Northrop Grumman’s cockpit design and integrate the technology into V-model prototypes in spring 2014. Three prototypes spent more than two years in the roto type Integration Facility at Redstone undergoing integration.

The Army partnered with Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, to convert L-models into new V-models at a rate of 48 aircraft per year, which some have called too slow, as it would take 15 years for the service to produce all 760 aircraft. The Army has been looking at ways to speed that up.

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