On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Army revealed the newest variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the UH-60V, at the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap.

“The ‘Victor’ model will extend the Army’s capability and capacity to meet the demands placed on the joint force,” said Major General Mark Schindler, who serves as Adjutant General of Pennsylvania. “Additionally, the model will ensure national security and support warfighters now and well into the future.”

Major Gen. Mark Schindler (center) cuts the ribbon during the unveiling ceremony for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter on Oct. 6 at the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

In July, the Utility Helicopter Program Office gave EAATS six UH-60Vs. The instructor pilots have trained on this new variant since July, as preparation for training students on them.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania National Guard, EAATS is the first Army unit to receive the new helicopter variant. Some of the new innovations in this variant are a certified GPS RNAV database, advanced flight planning and mission capability, and an upgraded digital glass cockpit.

Major General Mark Schindler speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter on Oct. 6.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jake Russell spoke on the pros of the new variant’s advancements.

“The UH-60V’s digital cockpit provides Army aviators increased situational awareness across a wide spectrum,” said Russell, who has 21 years of experience as a Black Hawk pilot. “Whether using the GPS navigation capability in the national airspace system or flying tactical routes in the battlespace, the UH-60V’s integrated avionics package provides the necessary information for safe and efficient mission execution.”

At the ceremony on Wednesday, Brig. General Robert Barrie, Program Officer-Aviation for the Army, said, “In order for us to bring capability onto this platform, it necessitated a significant investment both in dollars and time. And because our threat is evolving faster than we are, and because our dollars are limited, it was absolutely essential that we find a way to bring capability onto our platforms more affordably and more rapidly, and that’s what this platform is the first of our ability to do.”

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