The Sikorsky MATRIX system, developed by the Lockheed Martin military–industrial concern, was responsible for the autonomous flight.
The American UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time in history without a person on board. This is reported in a press release from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Test flights took place on February 5 and 7. During one of them, the Black Hawk flew over the Fort Campbell military base in Kentucky for half an hour. The Sikorsky MATRIX system developed by Lockheed Martin was responsible for flight autonomy. According to Breaking Defense, with reference to Igor Cherepinsky, director of Sikorsky Innovations, one of the helicopter’s test tasks was to fly between simulated New York skyscrapers.
“With a reduced workload, pilots can focus on flight control rather than mechanics,” says Stuart Young, head of the DARPA Tactical Technology Management Program. –This unique combination of autonomous software and hardware will make flying smarter and safer.”
The unmanned flight became part of the ALIAS program of the US military department, the purpose of which is to increase the automation of military equipment. The ALIAS program uses significant achievements in the field of aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years.
“With ALIAS, the army will have much more operational flexibility,” Young said. “This includes the ability to control an aircraft at any time of the day or night, with and without pilots, as well as in various difficult conditions.”
During the next month, another test is planned as part of the ALIAS program. This time, the unmanned Black Hawk will take flight in Fort Eustis, Virginia.