ARLINGTON, VA --- The U.S. Army awarded the fifth year contract for the Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to EADS North America for $247.2 million. This contract increases the company's supply of 45 additional Lakotas along with hardware to equip the rotary-wing aircraft for medical evacuation, personnel transport and multi-mission applications.
"The Army has great confidence in the Light Utility Helicopter program, and to preserve the momentum of this successful ACAT-1 system, we awarded the Fiscal Year 2010 contract at the earliest point allowed," said Keith Roberson, the Deputy Project Manager for Utility Helicopters at the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Aviation.
This latest contract funds Fiscal Year 2010 production of UH-72A Lakotas to be delivered through June 2011, and brings the total number of Light Utility Helicopters ordered by the U.S. Army to 178.
"The UH-72A program is a key element in the U.S. Army's aviation modernization effort, and we are committed to providing the very best helicopters for America's warfighters," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chief Executive Officer.
The Fiscal Year 2010 contract ensures continuity of UH-72A deliveries from the state-of-the-art facility in Columbus, Mississippi -- which is operated by EADS North America's American Eurocopter business unit.
The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program for the U.S. Defense Department. The Lakota's service entry beginning in 2007 marked one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army's history. To date, 93 Lakotas have been delivered by EADS North America with all aircraft provided within budget and on schedule.
A total of 345 Lakotas are expected to be acquired through 2015 for U.S. Army and National Guard operations in missions that range from homeland security and drug interdiction, general support, logistics and medical evacuation flights (MEDEVAC). The aircraft enable aging National Guard OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72A deliveries to the active component of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to warfighting missions.
The Lakotas delivered to date by EADS North America are based at U.S. Army and National Guard locations from coast-to-coast in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico. Future deployments of UH-72As are anticipated in the Pacific, Europe and Japan.
Five H-72A versions of the Lakota are being delivered to the U.S. Navy for pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Md. In addition, a variant of the UH-72A is being proposed by EADS North America as a new armed scout helicopter solution for the U.S. Army -- the Armed Scout 645.
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.