EADS North America receives U.S. Army contract for five additional UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters
The US Army has awarded EADS North America a contract for five additional UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) Jan. 15, 2009, bringing the total number of aircraft on contract to 128.
Production of the UH-72A at the American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss. continues to meet U.S. Army and Army National Guard requirements for a highly capable, multi-role helicopter in missions that range from homeland security and medical evacuation to drug interdiction, support and logistics operations.
The Army expects to acquire a total of 345 Lakotas through 2016. More than 54 UH-72As have been delivered by EADS North America, all which have been provided on time or ahead of schedule in one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army’s history.
“EADS North America remains committed to excellence in program management and execution for the UH-72A, which has received high marks from the U.S. Army,” said EADS North America Chairman and CEO Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. “We understand the Lakota’s importance to the Army’s helicopter fleet modernization, and our top priority continues to be providing America’s warfighters with the very best equipment to accomplish their important mission.”
More than 8,000 flight hours have been logged by the Army’s UH-72A fleet to date, and the Lakota is now in service at bases and facilities across the nation, including the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS) in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.; Fort Eustis, Va.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Morrisville, N.C.; Pineville, La.; Tupelo, Miss.; and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY.
In addition to the 128 Lakotas ordered to fulfill Army and National Guard missions, five Light Utility Helicopters have been ordered by the U.S. Navy for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, MD. UH-72A production averages three to four helicopters per month – with the capability of reaching five aircraft monthly at the Columbus, Miss., production facility of American Eurocopter, an EADS North America business unit.
This state-of-the-art production site is a 220,000 sq. ft. addition to American Eurocopter’s Mississippi rotary-wing aircraft center of excellence, which is located adjacent to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The facility has brought high-value jobs into the region with total program employment planned to surpass 200 as the UH-72A program reaches its full production and final assembly capability.
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