USMC's UH-1Y Huey helicopter

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to provide Gen II mission computers in support of the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) H-1 helicopter upgrade programme.

Under the $9.3m firm-fixed-price contract, the company will deliver computer systems and trays for the USMC’s H-1upgrade programme’s Lot 10 production aircraft.

"The high-performance mission computers have proven their reliability and superior value supporting ongoing missions."

The dual mission computers provide centralised control to the Northrop-built integrated avionics system (IAS), which powers the glass cockpits of UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.

Featuring open modular architecture, the IAS and mission computers facilitate further system upgrades and integration of new technologies.

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The systems can interface with the tactical moving map and displays both situational awareness and health monitoring information, while reducing workload.

Northrop Grumman Situational Awareness Systems business unit vice president Ike Song said the mission computer systems would provide advanced computing and video processing capabilities to help ensure pilot safety.

"The high-performance mission computers have proven their reliability and superior value supporting ongoing missions, such as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan," Song added.

The USMC H-1 upgrade programme aims to reduce lifecycle and training costs and decrease the logistics footprint for AH-1W and UH-1N aircraft.

The Bell UH-1Y Super Huey is a twin-engine medium-sized utility helicopter and is currently in full-rate production to replace the ageing Marine Corps fleet of UH-1N twin Huey light utility helicopters.

Deliveries under the recent contract are scheduled to be completed by January 2015.

Image: A USMC’s UH-1Y Huey helicopter landing on a frigate. Photo: courtesy of PD-USGOV-MILITARY-MARINES.

Defence Technology