Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the US Navy to deliver its FlightPro Gen III mission computers for the US Marine Corps (USMC) helicopters, AH-1Z and UH-1Y.
Under the $10.6m production contract, the company will provide mission computers for H-1 helicopter flight tests, system integration laboratories and training.
Northrop Grumman Situational Awareness Systems business unit vice-president Ike Song said: "The computer’s fast, efficient processing will improve situational awareness and lighten … workloads, in addition to allowing rapid insertion of emerging capabilities."
Reported to be the most capable general purpose mission computer, the FlightPro Gen III features the latest computing technology in multiple partitioned, eight-core twin multi-core processors, advanced graphics, video capabilities and an open architecture.
It is believed to be the foundation of Northrop’s proposed digital cockpit upgrade for the US Army’s H-60L Black Hawk programme.
The mission computers also offer increased computing resources, as well as an extended lifetime due to long-term product support from dealers.
The USMC has deployed the Gen III mission computers on the UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper platforms, with plans to integrate the computers in future jets.
The Bell UH-1Y Venom, also called Super Huey, is a twin-engine medium-sized utility helicopter currently in low-rate production. It will replace the ageing fleet of UH-1N twin Huey light-utility helicopters.
Called SuperCobra, the Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter that features a four-blade, composite main rotor system, fully integrated weapons, and avionics and communications systems.
Image: FlightPro Gen III mission computers will be deployed in the US Navy’s AH-1Z and UH-1Y Marine Corps helicopters. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corp.