The Pennsylvania National Guard’s Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) became the first unit to receive the new UH-60V (Victor) model of the Black Hawk helicopter.
The first fielding of the upgraded UH-60V from the Utility Helicopter Program Office (UHPO) took place on July 27 and marked the start of a process to replace 760 legacy UH-60L (Lima) Black Hawks to the modernized UH-60V variant.
The UH-60V helicopter was developed with a focus to overhaul the aging UH-60A/L fleet. The “V” model includes an upgraded digital glass cockpit, certified GPS RNAV database and advanced flight planning and mission capability.
The upgraded cockpit of the UH-60V increases a pilot’s situational awareness while reducing the pilot work load, resulting in a more capable and safer aviation platform. The upgraded helicopter is the first Army aircraft to implement open architecture, a critical element of the Future Vertical Lift Ecosystem.
“The improved UH-60V airframe provides the Army National Guard enhanced capabilities to better support the multi-domain battlefield of today and tomorrow,” said Col. Joseph Bishop, the Army National Guard’s Aviation and Safety Division chief. “We are excited to have our aviators start in this new, modernized helicopter for the Army, and what better place to start than here in Pennsylvania at EAATS.”
“With six total UH-60V aircraft, EAATS will provide initial qualification in a ‘train-the-trainer’ fashion,” said Lt. Col. Tim Zerbe, Pennsylvania’s state Army aviation officer. “This process enables unit instructor pilots, standardization pilots and maintenance examiners to get trained and then take that knowledge back to their units in order to train others.”
EAATS is a US Army Training and Doctrine Command-accredited institution of excellence located at Fort Indiantown Gap’s Muir Army Airfield. It conducts individual aviator qualification training, enlisted aviation training and non-commissioned officer professional development. EAATS’s utility helicopter mission is focused on UH-60M/V training for aircraft mechanics and crewmembers from the Army National Guard, active-duty Army and Army Reserve as well as foreign militaries.