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Sikorsky, DARPA Showcase Autonomy Tech in Black Hawk Helicopter Test Flight

S-70 Black Hawk
S-70 Black Hawk

Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary has demonstrated supervised autonomous operations of a Black Hawk military helicopter as part of a testing program with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aimed to reduce pilot workload while ensuring flight safety.

The S-70 Optionally Piloted Vehicle was able to take off, avoid simulated obstacles and land on the ground during a “first-of-its-kind“ mission led by Sikorsky’s chief pilot, Mark Ward, with the use of a tablet device, Lockheed said.

For the flight test, pilots used DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System in conjunction with the aircraft manufacturer’s Matrix autonomy platform.

Ward said the recent demonstration event showed the potential of Sikorsky-built technology to help aerial vehicles operate autonomously.

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Written by Mary-Louise Hoffman

is a writer of news summaries about executive-level business activity in the government contracting sector. Her reports for ExecutiveBiz are focused on trends and events that drive the GovCon industry to include commercial technologies that private companies are developing for federal government use. She contributes news content to ExecutiveBiz’s sister sites GovCon Wire and ExecutiveGov.

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