Eurocopter/Sikorsky Team Readies for LUH Competition
EADS-North America (Defense) has amassed forces in pursuit of the U.S. Army's Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) competition for 320 commercial-off-the-shelf aircraft. The Army is using a COTS approach to drastically shorten procurement cycles that can last several years for military aircraft. The Washington-based arm of Eurocopter parent EADS, the company is bidding the EC145, designated the UH145.
The Army helicopters theoretically will be limited to domestic U.S. operations, with the goal of freeing up some 60 UH-60 Black Hawks and aging UH-1s and OH-58s often found at some active Army bases and in Army National Guard and Reserve units.
Since the prime bidder's responsibilities are far more than just the airframe, EADS-North America has teamed Eurocopter with Sikorsky to provide ongoing maintenance and logistic support for the UH145. Sikorsky's well-proven contractor logistics support of U.S. military and civil fleets enhances the EADS offering. Likewise, team member WestWind Technologies of Huntsville, Ala. brings proven and responsive Army helicopter systems integration capabilities to the offering. CAE USA, another experienced Army contractor that specializes in simulation and training, will provide procedures trainers and crew familiarization.--Ron Bower