US Naval Air systems Command (NAVAIR), January 16, 2001 - PATUXENT RIVER, MD - The installation of new communication and navigation equipment in the Marine Corps UH-1N "Huey" helicopters significantly enhances its mission capability and tremendously decreases the pilots' workload.
Despite the complexity of this change, this $74 million upgrade was brought to the fleet on schedule and $2 million under budget, due to the combined efforts of the government and industry teams.
Communication and navigation equipment was installed in more than 100 UH-1Ns and into three training simulators. The upgrade includes a state-of-the- art communications and radio package (ARC-210 radio), Doppler Navigation System, control display navigation units with a digital data set, miniature airborne Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and replacement of the existing TACAN. The Internal Communications System (ICS) on board the helicopter was also replaced with a secure, voice activated system.
The addition of the ARC-210 radio provides secure, digital communications. The satellite communications (SATCOM) system provides secure over-the-horizon communications, allowing the Marine Air/Ground Task Force mission commander to control his forces and coordinate with all other echelons. The number three radio and SATCOM radio systems can now be controlled independently, from the cabin of the aircraft, with the ground commander's communications control station. These next generation radios have reduced the maintenance workload, which in turn increases the mission availability of the aircraft. Installation of the GPS and the Doppler system allows for independent navigation for over-the-horizon and over-water operations.
The ASQ-215 mission data loader allows pilots to use emerging technology to preplan missions, enter waypoints and communications frequencies into a data transfer module. This eliminates the need to enter information by hand, thereby reducing their workload.
Now the aircrew has the ability to pre-plan and pre-brief multiple missions, and upon mission tasking, load all required information into the Cockpit Control System (CCS) rapidly and efficiently while preparing for launch, decreasing the response time. The installation of the Collins 800 CCS decreases pilot workload and maintenance troubleshooting time. The CCS allows the pilots to control all the radios and communications systems from one central location.
The highly integrated Built-In-Test (BIT) program enables maintenance crews to run BIT checks on all the installed systems. This check identifies the component causing the system failure to the troubleshooter instantaneously eliminating hours of system troubleshooting.
The installation of the improved internal communications system allows secure and encrypted communications between the aircrew and gunners. Now the gunners can talk to the pilots and still use their door-mounted machine guns without taking their hands off the weapons.
This upgrade program was approved in Fiscal Year 1991 with aircraft kit manufacturing beginning later that year at Raytheon Systems Company, formally known as E-Systems, at the Special Operations Forces Support Activity, in Lexington, Ky. Installations began in 1992 and were performed at Naval Air Station Atlanta, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, MCAS Camp Pendleton, and MCAS Futenma. The two contractors, DynCorp and Raytheon, with Raytheon providing sole installation support over the past four years, logged over 195,000 artisan man-hours during the course of this installation program.