Northrop Grumman has announced that the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, enabled by the company’s modular open systems architecture OpenLift, has received an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Airworthiness Release.

The IFR Airworthiness Release, from the US Army Systems Readiness Directorate, enable the pilots to fly the helicopter in all weather conditions.

The UH-60V is an upgraded version of the current UH-60L aircraft.

Instead of the UH-60L’s legacy cockpit, the newer version features a fully open, digital and integrated avionics suite. The changes increase the life and mission capabilities of the UH-60 platform.

The pilot-vehicle interfaces of the UH-60V and UH-60L are almost the same, allowing common training and operational employment.

Northrop Grumman navigation, targeting, and survivability vice-president Lindsay McEwen said: “Achieving IFR airworthiness is a major milestone for the UH-60V with OpenLift.

“Aircrews can now experience the unique capabilities of this open architecture aircraft under all conditions.”

Last year, the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter, with the integrated avionics suite, entered service with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s unit at Fort Indiantown Gap.

OpenLift architecture has been flight demonstrated on the AH-64E Apache helicopter.

According to Northrop Grumman, other aircraft of the Enduring Fleet, and planned systems of Future Vertical Lift, can also adopt this open systems architecture.

Northrop Grumman is an aerospace and defence technology company with approximately 90,000 employees.

In February this year, the company made a minority investment in radar platform company Echodyne.

The two companies also agreed to use Echodyne’s commercial radar technology in Northrop Grumman counter-uncrewed aerial vehicle (C-UAS) solutions.