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The newest configuration of the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the UH-60V, flew for the first time at Corpus Christi Army Depot on Sept. 11.
Victor-model Black Hawks are designed to modernize legacy UH-60L analog architecture to a digital avionics system similar to the Army’s most-modern UH-60M.
Though a UH-60V first flew in January 2017, the new milestone marks the first flight of a production-representative UH-60V that began life as a UH-60L and was then recapitalized by the Corpus Christi Army Depot.
The open architecture-based cockpit design replaces analog gauges with digital multifunctional displays and enhances situational awareness for pilots. Upgrades associated with the glass cockpit include an integrated computational system, visual display system and control display units, all of which are analog or nonexistent in the legacy Lima-model Black Hawk.
The UH-60V entered limited user test with the Army in 2018 and both completed software flight qualification testing and achieved a “Milestone C” decision to enter production the same year. Low-rate initial production began in 2019 and the aircraft passed initial operational test and evaluation, when the Army got to assess its combat effectiveness.
Deliveries of the first lot of low-rate production aircraft began this year, leading to the CCAD flight.
Army plans prescribe upgrading L-model Black Hawks to Victor configuration at a rate of at least 48 aircraft per year, eventually modernizing 760 aircraft with capabilities similar to the UH-60M, at a lower cost than buying new.