U.S. Navy helicopter experts needed mission computers for UH-1Y utility and U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z attack helicopters. They found their embedded computing solution at Northrop Grumman Corp. Navigation Systems in Woodland Hills, Calif. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., signed an $8.9 million direct contract with Northrop Grumman to provide Gen II mission computers for UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.
The dual mission computers are the heart of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Avionics System (IAS) that powers the helicopters' glass cockpits. The mission computers provide centralized avionics control, interface with the tactical moving map, and display situational awareness and health monitoring. Additionally, the IAS and mission computers feature open, modular architecture to enable system upgrades and rapid insertion of new technologies. Northrop Grumman also provides the operational flight program software that controls the IAS. Critical mission data is shown on four displays.
The H-1 Upgrade program is replacing aging AH-1W and UH-1N helicopters with upgraded UH-1Y and AH-1Z aircraft to enhance commonality, reliability, and maintainability. The upgraded helicopters have 100 percent software commonality through Northrop Grumman's IAS and the same operational flight program.