By Staff Writer | March 27, 2015
Airbus Group has delivered to the U.S. Army the first UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line configured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter.
The aircraft will join seven Lakotas previously in the Army inventory that have already been modified to the training configuration and fielded to Fort Rucker, Ala. in preparation for the Lakota’s formal introduction into the training curriculum in early fiscal 2016. Ultimately, Army plans call for an initial-entry rotorcraft training fleet of 187 Lakotas, made up of a mix of new deliveries and already in-service aircraft reconfigured for the training mission.
To date, the Department of Defense (DoD) has ordered 411 Lakotas in total, 400 of which are for the U.S. Army. With this latest delivery, 332 completed aircraft have been delivered – all on time and on budget – from the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production facility in Columbus, Miss.
The Lakota was competitively selected in 2006 to fill a wide variety of roles for the Active Army and Army National Guard, including search and rescue, medical evacuation, border security, command and control, VIP transport, general utility and training. Army National Guard units, operating UH-72As equipped with the Security & Support Mission Equipment Package, are deployed supporting 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.
Related: Military Training News