The 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade received three UH-60M (mike model) Black Hawk helicopters March 7 at the Clay Kaserne airfield.
The UH-60M is an improved model over the UH-60 A/L (alpha plus model) that 214th had in the past. The improvements include an all-digital cockpit, increased lift capacity and improved engine performance.
The all-digital cockpit reduces pilot work load through a flight director system which is similar to an auto pilot function which can maintain altitude and airspeed. The system also increases situational awareness through a moving map system, which displays a two-dimensional representation of all the surroundings.
Rotor blades are also improved on the mike model and have a dihedral swept tip, which provides increased lift capacity.
The integrated vehicle health unit maintenance computer system is also an important addition to the UH-60M. The system monitors a variety of moving components and helps advise maintainers prior to any component failure. This means parts are now replaced by actual wear and not by time.
“The UH-60M Black Hawk will allow 1-214th to shorten trips throughout Europe and to support USAREUR and EUCOM in a better capacity,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stephen Randall, battalion aviation maintenance officer for 1st Bn., 214th Avn. Regt. “We can now fly almost all approaches here in Europe.”
A Federated Air Navigation system improves the compliance with the European One Sky Initiative which allows for more precise traffic routes through Europe and helps de-conflict an already crowded airspace.