Airbus Helicopters announced on 9 March that it has received a contract, valued at $273 million, for an additional 35 UH-72A LAKOTAs for the US Army: 17 for the Initial Entry Rotary Wing mission and 18 for the Observer/Controller mission at the Army’s combat training centres.
The LAKOTA, built in Columbus, MS, is a twin-engine light utility helicopter used for a wide range of military operations including border patrol, MEDEVAC, troop and VIP transport, light cargo and Homeland Security. At least 412 aircraft have been delivered since programme inception in 2005. Available in multiple configurations with the lowest cost to buy, own and operate of any US military helicopter in production, the UH-72A is a key component of the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) and the primary rotary-wing trainer for the Army Aviation Centre of Excellence at Fort Rucker, AL. They have been employed extensively in recent months, responding to wildfires in California and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
“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 programme excellence and support for this aircraft,” commented President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of North American Region, Chris Emerson.