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Thales was recently selected by Northrop Grumman Corporation to have its state-of-the-art Flight Management System software, i-FMS200, embedded in the avionics mission equipment package that Northrop Grumman will provide to upgrade the US Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters. The upgraded version of the Black Hawk helicopter will be known as UH-60V.

Thales has been working closely with Northrop Grumman Corporation over the past three years to provide a proven, scalable and modular Flight Management System (FMS) software design that meets the requirements for the UH-60V program. Thales’ FMS software has proven its ability to be integrated by Northrop Grumman into its newest equipment during a flight demonstration on-board a UH-60L helicopter. Moreover, hosting the Thales’ FMS software directly on Northrop Grumman’s mission computer will provide architecture weight and cost optimization on the UH-60V aircraft, eliminating the need for standalone FMS hardware.

Northrop Grumman is the digital cockpit supplier and integrator for the U.S. Army’s UH-60V program, which replaces analog gauges in UH-60L helicopters with electronic instrument displays. The upgraded helicopter will replicate the UH-60M pilot-vehicle interface and provide interoperability. The new upgrades are expected to extend the life and mission capabilities of the UH-60 platform. Northrop Grumman’s approach to the design and implementation of the UH-60V integrated mission equipment package is based on their experience with similar upgrades for the U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters and U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye programs. Additional benefits to be derived from their scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package include enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, decreased workload and life cycle cost, and a common training environment.

Built by Sikorsky Aircraft, the twin-engine UH-60 Black Hawk has served the U.S. military since 1979 when it first entered service with the U.S. Army. Since then, modified versions have been developed for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. More than 750 aircraft are expected to be modified under the UH-60V program. Northrop Grumman has also selected Thales to provide the civilian certified TOP Star 200 GPS system.

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