Upgraded H‑1 Helicopters With Northrop Grumman Integrated Cockpit Deploy for the First Time as a Unit

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Nov. 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Northrop Grum­man Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) Inte­grat­ed Avion­ics Sys­tem played a key role in prepar­ing the AH-1Z heli­copter for its first oper­a­tional deploy­ment, mark­ing the ini­tial oppor­tu­ni­ty for the AH-1Z and UH-1Y heli­copters to work togeth­er as a team. 

UH-1Y Northrop GrummanThe AH-1Z and its sis­ter air­craft, the UH-1Y, are deployed aboard the USS Makin Island with the 11th Marine Expe­di­tionary Unit (MEU). The heli­copters func­tion as a detach­ment of Marine Light Attack Heli­copter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367), which pro­vid­ed four AH-1Z and three UH-1Y heli­copters. While this is the first AH-1Z deploy­ment, the UH-1Y was first deployed in 2009 with the 13th MEU and has expe­ri­enced four HMLA squadron deploy­ments in sup­port of Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Marine Corps is now able to merge the improved capa­bil­i­ties of these upgrad­ed air­craft into a sin­gle light heli­copter attack squadron or as a detach­ment of the larg­er group. The dual deploy­ment takes advan­tage of the 84 per­cent com­mon­al­i­ty of parts between the UH-1Y and AH-1Z heli­copters in the H‑1 upgrade pro­gram, which reduces life cycle and train­ing costs and decreas­es the logis­tics foot­print for both air­craft. The upgrad­ed heli­copters also have 100 per­cent soft­ware com­mon­al­i­ty through Northrop Grumman’s Inte­grat­ed Avion­ics Sys­tem (IAS) and the same oper­a­tional flight program.

“The Inte­grat­ed Avion­ics Sys­tem is dra­mat­i­cal­ly improv­ing the sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness abil­i­ties of these H‑1 air­craft in chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ments,” said Ike Song, vice pres­i­dent of sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness sys­tems at Northrop Grumman’s Nav­i­ga­tion Sys­tems Divi­sion. “These oper­a­tional advan­tages will be even more appar­ent now, as the AH-1Z and UH-1Y work togeth­er as a team in their first joint deployment.”

The IAS pow­ers the heli­copters’ glass cock­pits. It fea­tures two mis­sion com­put­ers with an open, mod­u­lar archi­tec­ture that allows for easy sys­tem upgrades and rapid inser­tion of new tech­nolo­gies. The IAS also improves the air crew’s sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness and weapons accu­ra­cy by pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal mis­sion data on four displays.

UH-1Y Northrop Grumman The H‑1 upgrade pro­gram is lead­ing the U.S. Marine Corps into the dig­i­tal inter­op­er­abil­i­ty age. The pro­gram involves replac­ing aging AH-1W and UH-1N fleets with new­er AH-1Z and UH-1Y heli­copters that pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in com­mon­al­i­ty, reli­a­bil­i­ty and main­tain­abil­i­ty. Both the AH-1Z and UH-1Y are in full-rate pro­duc­tion by Bell Heli­copter Tex­tron Inc.

Northrop Grum­man is a lead­ing glob­al secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing inno­v­a­tive sys­tems, prod­ucts and solu­tions in aero­space, elec­tron­ics, infor­ma­tion sys­tems, and tech­ni­cal ser­vices to gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial cus­tomers world­wide. Please vis­it www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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