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New Army Black Hawk Variant Certified to Fly in National Airspace

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The latest variant of the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter has secured certification to fly in national airspace at any time of the day and under instrumented meteorological conditions, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, the program executive officer for Army aviation, said the Instrument Flight Rules certification clears the way for the service to conduct the second initial operational test for the UH-60 Victor-model aircraft in July.

A unit of the Army National Guard received the first UH-60V Black Hawk from the Utility Helicopter Program Office in July 2021 nearly two years after the variant underwent its first initial operational test and evaluation at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

The Army decided to hold a second test in 2020 but was pushed back due to software and reliability fixes and delays in the IFR certification process.

The UH-60V helicopter replaces the Army’s legacy Black Hawk L-model helicopter fleet and includes a digital cockpit designed by Northrop Grumman.

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