US Army to proceed with Black Hawk Doppler navigation upgrade
BAE Systems has been contracted to carry out a comprehensive upgrade to the Doppler GPS Navigation System on board the US Army Black Hawk.
BAE will provide brand new touchscreen computer display units (CDUs) as part of the upgrade to the Black Hawk helicopter’s ASN-128 Doppler GPS Navigation System. The new system is self-contained and allows for all-weather navigation, day or night, giving pilots greater access to real-time flight plan data.
The order itself falls under an existing $226 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. Touchscreen navigation controls will be implemented on the UH-60A/L Black Hawk, and the US Army has said it plans to use the ASN-128 system through to 2035. Crucially, the upgrade will support safer operation for pilots by minimising heads-down tasks.
“We’ve been a supplier for the ASN-128 program since 1978,” said Alan Dewar, Director of Communications and Navigation Solutions at BAE Systems. “The full touch screen with moving map capability will improve safety for pilots, assisting our customer’s mission success.”
The CDUs will be manufactured at a BAE Systems facility in Wayne, New Jersey, with circuit card production slated to take place in Austin, Texas. Further CDU orders may follow as part of the US Army’s improvement programme, and the initial order of 250 CDUs is expected to be delivered in 2019 and 2020.
To date, BAE Systems’ AN/ASN-128 operates on board more than 15,000 helicopters and across 35 separate nations. The Doppler GPS Navigation System provides accurate, independent, jam-resistant navigation in friendly and hostile regions and in operational environments where GPS interference is likely.
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