More EADS UH-72A Lakota helicopters for US Army

  • Press Release
  • 12:00 AM, January 23, 2009
  • 2122
U.S. Ministry of Defense today ordered 5 more helicopters in a deal worth € 20 million ($ 26 million) to EADS North America. The contract was awarded on January 15, 2009 and includes also two external Hoist B-Kits as well as two MEDEVAC “B-Kits”, which enables the Army to quickly reconfigure the LUH for medical transport missions from passenger or logistics configurations. The Army would thus be able to use the Lakota for missions such as medical evacuation. These two helicopters will also be fitted with Environmental Control Units and MEDEVAC Mission Equipment Packages. Work will be performed at Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 1, 2010. "Production of the UH-72A is averaging three to four helicopters per month – with the capability of reaching five aircraft monthly at the Mississippi production facility.” The UH-72A first entered service in 2007, and deliveries to date have provided aircraft to Army and Army National Guard units in California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Army plans call for the acquisition of 345 Lakotas through 2016. With the Army’s recent order of 39 aircraft, the count has now reached 123 UH-72As. With the appropriate kit, the UH-72A can be used for missions ranging from homeland security and drug interdiction, to support, logistics and medical evacuation flights (MEDEVAC). Introduction of the UH-72A enables aging Army National Guard OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while Lakota deliveries to the active component of the Army free up UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for assignment to warfighting missions. Lakota has attracted interest from other U.S. military services including the U.S.Navy, which ordered five additional Light Utility Helicopters through the Army contract. The Navy will use the helicopters for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River.
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