The U.S. Army has awarded EADS North America a $212.7 million contract to deliver 39 UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) as part of its total acquisition plan. Thirty-two of these Lakotas will be produced in the Army’s Security and Support (S&S) Battalion configuration. EADS North America has already delivered 198 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army, on time and within budget, along with five H-72A versions to the U.S. Navy for test pilot training.
“We’re extremely proud of our track record of on time and on budget deliveries of the UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army, Navy and Army National Guard,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America CEO. “The successful execution of this critical program is a result of the strong partnership we’ve built with the Department of Defense over the past seven years. The S&S Battalion-equipped Lakotas further demonstrate this modern platform’s flexibility for growth to support an even broader range of demanding missions.”
The Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP) will be operated by Army National Guard units across the country. The S&S Battalion MEP, integrated by American Eurocopter, will expand the capabilities of the Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters, and reflects the platform’s adaptability for an increasing number of missions. The current total program of record calls for 345 UH-72A Lakotas to be delivered to the Army and Army National Guard through 2015, along with five already delivered to the U.S. Navy.
Lakota helicopters in the S&S Battalion configuration enable Army National Guard units to seamlessly support state and local law enforcement and federal homeland security agencies in responding to natural disasters, law enforcement and border security operations.
The UH-72A Lakota is manufactured at EADS North America’s American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss. The S&S Battalion MEP was integrated and tested at American Eurocopter’s Grand Prairie, Texas facility.
The S&S MEP contains a centerline electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) sensor, a 30 million candle power search light, analog/digital video downlink, rear observer’s console with a 15-inch display, an enhanced tactical communications suite, an onboard digital video recorder, 10.4-inch auxiliary displays for the pilot and co-pilot, and a video management system.
The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program for the U.S. Defense Department, and it marked one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army’s history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army replace UH-60 Black Hawks.
Source: European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Jan 11, 2012