The U.S. Army’s recent order for an additional 41 UH-72A Lakota helicopters underscores the continuing value the Army places on the Lakota’s low cost multi-mission capabilities, high performance and reliability. It also validates the work done by Airbus Helicopters Inc. and Airbus Group Inc. to fulfil commitments made to the Army and the U.S. government.
To date, the Department of Defense has placed orders for 411 Lakotas, 400 for the Army. More than 330 completed aircraft have been delivered by Airbus Helicopters Inc. from its Columbus, Miss. production facility – all of them on time and on budget.
“From the day we signed the contract to produce the UH-72A, our team has strived every day to deliver on our promises to the Army, to the dedicated soldiers who operate these aircraft, to the U.S. government and the taxpayers,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “We have delivered a superb aircraft that meets the Army’s performance requirements and quality standards, and we have also delivered on our promise to provide outstanding support to keep the Army’s fleet of Lakotas flying and ready to perform the vital missions they are assigned.”
The Lakota was competitively selected in 2006 to fill a wide variety of missions for the Army and National Guard, including search and rescue, medical evacuation, border security, command and control, VIP transport and general utility. National Guard units operating UH-72As equipped with the Support & Security Mission Equipment Package have been deployed to support Customs and Border Protection missions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Lakota is also operated in a training role by the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. The Army, as part of its Aviation Restructuring Initiative, has selected the Lakota for its Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training program at Fort Rucker. The Royal Thai Army has ordered six UH-72As through the Foreign Military Sales program. Airbus Helicopters is marketing the UH-72A to other countries needing a modern, low cost multi-mission helicopter.
A modern, twin-engine aircraft, the UH-72A is a highly versatile and capable helicopter. It is powerful, but stable with a modern glass cockpit that is compatible with night vision goggles. The Lakota is single-pilot Instrument Flight Rules certified. It has the lowest cost to buy, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production. The Lakota is built in Columbus, Miss. where Airbus Helicopters employs about 250 people, nearly 50 percent of them veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
About Airbus Group Inc.
Airbus Group, Inc. is the U.S.-based operation of Airbus Group, a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. Airbus Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defense and Space and Airbus Helicopters – contributes more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 245,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. Airbus Group, Inc., headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.
About Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. (AHI) is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry’s most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.
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