U.S. Army takes on-time delivery of the 23rd and 24th aircraft
(Arlington, Virginia, April 2, 2008) -- The U.S. Army has taken delivery of 24 UH-72A Lakotas from EADS North America - all received on time, or ahead of schedule - as the new Light Utility Helicopter demonstrates its mission capabilities in operational service.
The UH-72A is produced at a modern helicopter center of excellence in Columbus, Mississippi, with full-rate production approval received in August of 2007. The Lakotas delivered to date have been fielded, and are supported at three Army installations across the country: the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California; Fort Eustis, Virginia; and Fort Polk, Louisiana.
The UH-72A has flown over 2,000 hours to date with over 90 percent full mission capable rate, and no operational missions have been lost due to aircraft availability.
EADS North America is ramping up to delivery rates of three aircraft per month as production continues to accelerate at the Mississippi facility. In addition to its current service with the U.S. Army, future Lakotas are slated for delivery to Army National Guard units beginning later this year, and overseas deployments are anticipated for U.S. Army units in Europe and Japan.
"Since being awarded the Light Utility Helicopter contract in June 2006, EADS North America has demonstrated its capability to respond to the Army's needs - on time and in budget," said EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "The UH-72A program is one of the most rapid acquisitions in modern U.S. Army aviation history, and it underscores our commitment to meeting - and exceeding - the mission requirements of those who protect America and ensure its national security. EADS North America also is meeting its industrial commitments to our customer, and meeting our obligations as a responsible corporate citizen for the state of Mississippi."