Northrop Grumman and the US Army completed the first flight of the UH-60V engineering and development model last month, bringing the legacy Black Hawk’s analog cockpit into the digital age.

Under a 2014 contract, Northrop switched out the analog gauges from the Lima models with electronic instrument displays.

The integrated avionics suite on the UH-60V maintains an interface that is almost identical to the M-model. Northrop has also designed the digital cockpit in accordance with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standards, an open architecture initiative led by the US Navy which supports the integration of off-the-shelf hardware and common software across aviation platforms.

On 19 January the army flew a set of flight exercises testing the V-model cockpit take-off, hover and tracking capabilities. Following the V-model’s initial flight, the army is expected to transition the helicopter to its aviation flight test directorate this month. During that time, the army will undertake additional system level developmental testing on the aircraft and its software, according to the service.

Northrop will add another ten years to the life of the legacy L-model Black Hawks with the V-model digital cockpit upgrade. The army has targeted a fleet of 1,375 M-model Black Hawks and 760 UH-60V helicopters, FlightGlobal previously reported. The cockpit modifications will begin next year and run through 2033.