US Army signs $273 million contract for 35 more UH-72A Lakotas
Airbus Helicopters, Inc. has received a contract for about $273 million to deliver 35 more UH-72A Lakotas to the US Army.
The UH-72A is a twin-engine light utility helicopter used for a range of military operations including border patrol, emergency evacuation of the sick or wounded, troop and VIP transport, light cargo and Homeland Security.
Lakotas have been heavily used in the last few months, due to wildfires in California, and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
The latest procurement is broken into two configurations: 17 UH-72A Lakotas for the Initial Entry Rotary Wing mission at Fort Rucker in Alabama, and 18 UH-72A Lakotas for the Observer/Controller mission at the Army’s Combat Training Centers. The contract includes the UH-72A production aircraft, plus associated technical and flight operator manuals and programme management.
Made in Columbus
Airbus builds the Lakota at its Columbus, Mississippi facility. Since the programme started in 2005, the company has delivered more than 412 Lakotas. It is available in many configurations; the company claims that of all US military helicopters in production, it is the lowest cost to buy, own and operate.
The UH-72A is a key component of the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) and the primary rotary-wing trainer for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Chris Emerson, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of North American Region, said: “We are proud that the US Army has continued to rely on us to provide this versatile capability for its aviation fleet. We have an unbroken record of on-cost and high-quality program excellence and support for this aircraft.”