MERIDIANVILLE, Alabama -- The Program Executive Office Aviation's Utility Helicopter Project Office today successfully completed the initial test flight of its Engineering Development Model UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter.

The test flight lasted a little more than an hour and included a variety of exercises including take off, hover, track and balance and a brief local area flight before returning to the airfield.

The completion of the flight on this date set more than two years ago was a collaborative effort among several organizations within the military and industry including the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center (AMRDEC), Research, Develop and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Northrop Grumman, and Redstone Defense Systems.

The successful flight of the UH-60V working prototype represents a significant milestone in the UH-60V program and moves one step closer to getting an enhanced, modern air capability to the operational force.

Over the next few weeks, the aircraft will go through final maintenance actions and acceptance test procedures before being handed over to the Aviation Flight Test Directorate in mid- February. Once handed over to AFTD, it will undergo further system level developmental testing to ensure that the aircraft and software performs in accordance with user requirements.

AMRDEC's Prototype Integration Facility is being used to design and develop three Engineering Development Models and a corresponding technical data package. The kits will be furnished to the Corpus Christi Army Depot to produce two additional EDM aircraft in preparation for Low Rate Initial Production. These additional EDMs will supplement EDMs 1-3 for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation in 2019. The Army Acquisition Objective for the program is 760 aircraft, which are planned to be manufactured at CCAD.

The UH-60V program will upgrade the UH-60L aircraft with a digital cockpit. The open architecture-based cockpit design replaces analog gauges with digital multifunctional displays and enhances situational awareness for aviation warfighters. The UH-60V, which features one of the Army's most advanced avionics solutions, has a pilot-vehicle interface that is nearly identical to the UH 60M.