Airbus Helicopters Inc. was awarded a contract modification, worth around $122.66 million, by the U.S. Army for the procurement of 15 additional UH-72 Lakota helicopters.
Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement, Army funds for the modification amount were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) at Redstone Arsenal (RSA) Alabama, is the contracting activity(W58RGZ-18-C-0007 – P00012).
Work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2022.
The helicopter is operated primarily by the U.S. Army. The U.S. Navy version is utilized by the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) to train students in rotary-wing flying characteristics and test procedures.
Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota
The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) UH-72 Lakota is a twin-engine light utility helicopter with a single, four-bladed main rotor. It a militarized version of the Eurocopter EC145 helicopter and was built by American Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters, Inc.), a division of Airbus Group, Inc.
Initially marketed as the UH-145, the helicopter was selected as the winner of the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program in 2006.
The UH-72A Lakota LUH has seating for two pilots and is capable of transporting up to six passengers. The medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration is equipped with two North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standard litters and seating for a medical attendant and crew chief.
Visual and instrument flight certified, the UH-72A is equipped with a night-vision-compatible glass cockpit and modern communications and navigation avionics, including autopilot and dual Global Positioning Systems with Wide Area Augmentation System.
Other aircraft configurations include Combat Training Center Opposing Forces and Observer/Controller, Security and Support and VIP. Since 2016, the UH-72A has been used at Fort Rucker, Alabama, for the Initial Entry Rotary Wing/Basic Warfighting Skills Trainer.
The UH-72A Lakota operates worldwide in permissive environments to meet Homeland Defense and Security, general support, reconnaissance, command and control (C2) operations, search and rescue (SAR), and training requirements. Homeland Defense and Security missions include assistance to border patrol operations, terrorist incident response, counterdrug operations, and disaster relief missions, as well as Generating Force MEDEVAC capability for the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG).
Specifications (UH-72A LUH)
• Maximum speed: 145 knots
• Range: 370 nautical miles
• Endurance: 3.5 hours
• Maximum takeoff weight: 7,903 pounds