The U.S. Army has approved a $220.5 million contract for the production of UH-72A Lakota helicopters in Columbus, according to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
The contract to Airbus Defense and Space, Inc. will support the procurement of 41 Lakota helicopters equipped with Airborne Radio Communications 231 radios. The Congress approved $401.6 million overall to procure additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters in the FY2015 omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law on Dec. 16, 2014.
“The Lakota helicopters have proven to be effective and affordable aircraft for the Army and the highly capable workforce in the Golden Triangle Region contributes to the success of this procurement program,” Cochran said. “The award of this contract is good news for both the Army and Mississippi.”
All work on the new helicopter order will be performed at the Airbus (formerly EADS North America) facility in Columbus, with an estimated July 2017 completion date.
UH-72A Lakota helicopters are considered one of the most cost-effective programs in the military. In addition to being used for military missions, these helicopters are used to support disaster response, border protection and pilot training.
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