First Marine Corps UH-1Y Helicopter With Northrop Grumman Integrated Cockpit Deploys in 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Avionics System (IAS) and the company's integration support were key parts of preparing the UH-1Y Huey helicopters for initial deployment early in 2009 with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The UH-1Y's IAS provides the helicopter with an interoperable glass cockpit and an avionics system that is fully integrated by Northrop Grumman. Critical mission data is available to the pilot and co-pilot on the four displays, reducing workload, eliminating delays, and increasing aircrew situational awareness. The glass cockpit is anchored by two of the company's open systems architecture mission computers, the heart of the IAS, that allow easy system upgrades as new technology is developed.
Northrop Grumman supported the team that achieved Initial Operational Capability on Aug. 8, 2008 demonstrating that an aircraft has met all flight requirements and that the aircraft, pilots and air crew are ready for deployment. The pilots and crew had worked with the aircraft for a year at a Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 before they were assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit to prepare for this deployment.
"The UH-1Y program team surmounted the challenges presented by all new military platforms," said Ike Song, vice president of Northrop Grumman Navigation System Division's situational awareness systems business. "Northrop Grumman's close work with its industrial teammates and the Marine Corps and Naval Air Systems Command users helped meet those challenges and deliver the helicopters for the fleet deployment."
Northrop Grumman is part of an industry team that is led by Bell Helicopter Textron, the manufacturer of the helicopter, and includes Thales, and FLIR Systems Inc. Northrop Grumman personnel have worked closely with Bell Helicopter and government team members from both the Naval Air Systems Command's H-1 Program Office in Patuxent River, Md. and the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, Calif., supporting flight testing of the aircraft at a number of military locations.
Part of the H-1 Upgrades program, the Marine Corps' UH-1Y Huey, replaces the aging UH-1N Huey that is currently fielded and in combat. According to program officials the UH-1Y doubles the range and payload of the UH-1N and provides significant improvements in maintainability and reliability, and its 84% commonality of parts with the AH-1Z reduces lifecycle costs by decreasing the aircraft's logistics footprint for both aircraft. The total program requirement for the UH-1Y is 100 helicopters; however the Marine Corps is requesting an additional 23 aircraft to meet its Grow the Force initiative. Delivery is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.
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