The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary a type certificate for the company's S-70M Black Hawk medium utility helicopter.
The FAA validation certifies the helicopter's design to have met requirements for airworthiness under the restricted category, Lockheed said Tuesday.
It also enables Sikorsky to request the FAA for authorization to manufacture S-70M helicopters to address civil sector operations such as cargo transport, agricultural activities and environmental conservation.
Forest and wildlife conservation aircraft with an FAA restricted category type certification have the capability to drop water during an aerial firefighting mission.
Nathalie Previte, vice president of strategy and business development at Sikorsky, said the type certification will support the company's efforts to offer Black Hawk helicopters to local government entities and commercial transport operators within and outside the U.S.
S-70M Black Hawk helicopters are based on the UH-60M utility helicopter, which Sikorsky has been manufacturing for the U.S. Army since 2005.