By Staff Writer | March 10, 2015
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 fulfill commitments made to the Army and the U.S. government.
UH-72A Lakotas on flightline at Airbus Helicopters Inc. in Columbus, Miss. Photo courtesy of Airbus Helicopters
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.
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.
Related: Military Utility News