Cites Increased Demand For US Army's Light Utility
Deliveries of the US Army's newest rotary-wing aircraft are
continuing ahead of schedule, as EADS North America plans to
increase production output of the twin-engine UH-72A Lakota Light
Six UH-72As have been received by the Army to date, with the
number six helicopter displayed this week at the Army Aviation
Association of America's annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.
EADS tells ANN the delivery rate will be ramping up to two Light
Utility Helicopters per month in September, meeting EADS North
America's production target for the current program phase. At
full-rate production, the company plans to build five UH-72As per
"EADS North America continues to meet its commitments on this
highly important contract, and we have mobilized our company's full
resources to ensure that the Army receives high-quality,
mission-ready aircraft," said David R. Oliver, Jr., President and
CEO of EADS North America Defense.
UH-72As delivered to date are assigned to the US Army's National
Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA with more than 550 flight hours
logged so far by the Lakota fleet.
The Army has a requirement for up to 322 UH-72As in a 10 year
program with a total life-cycle value of over $2 billion. These
helicopters will be operated primarily within the US for homeland
security operations, medical evacuation, passenger/logistics
transportation and drug interdiction missions.
Many of them will be assigned to Army National Guard units in
locations throughout the country, allowing older-generation
helicopters to be retired and freeing up larger rotary-wing
aircraft for assignment to other duties – including
deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assembly and production of the UH-72A is performed at the
Columbus, Mississippi facility of American Eurocopter, a business
unit of EADS North America. American Eurocopter is in the process
of enlarging this site, located at the Golden Triangle Regional
Airport, to accommodate the Light Utility Helicopter's production
This expansion is on schedule for completion this September, and
includes new buildings for the Lakota's assembly hall, flight line
and storage area, paint shop, warehouse, administrative offices,
flight operations and flight test engineering.
The UH-72A contract expands EADS North America's 20-year
heritage as a supplier to US homeland security and law enforcement
agencies, including the US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border
Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency, FBI, and numerous state
and local law enforcement agencies across the United States.