UH-72 Lakota Light Helicopter Lands Airbus in US Defense Market
March 12/18: Additional orders Airbus received Thursday, March 8, a long-awaited $273 million US Army contract to deliver 35 additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters to the service. Work on the sole sourced contract will take place in Columbus, Mississippi, with an estimated completion date of March 8, 2021. According to Flight Global, the helicopters will be used as training aircraft, and will be split between the initial entry rotary wing mission at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which will receive 17 aircraft, and the observer and controller mission at the Army’s combat training centres, which will receive 18 aircraft. Approximately 412 Lakotas have been delivered to the Army since 2005 and the additional order will keep the Columbus production line open for the foreseeable future.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This is DID’s FOCUS Article regarding the US Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program, covering the program and its objectives, the winning bid team and industrial arrangements, and contracts.
The US Army’s LUH program will finish as a 325 helicopter acquisition program that will be worth about $2.3 billion when all is said and done. It aimed to replace existing UH-1 Hueys and OH-58 Kiowa utility variants in non-combat roles, freeing up larger and more expensive UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for front-line duty. In June 2006, a variant of Eurocopter’s EC145 beat AgustaWestland’s AB139, Bell-Textron’s 412EP Twin Huey, and MD Helicopters’ 902 Explorer NOTAR (No Tail Rotor) design. The win marked EADS’ 1st serious military win in the American market, and their “UH-145” became the “UH-72A Lakota” at an official December 2006 naming ceremony.
Eurocopter has continued to field new mission kits and deliver helicopters from its Mississippi production line, while trying to build on their LUH breakthrough. A training helicopter win will keep the line going for a couple more years…
The LUH Program: Objectives & Background
The LUH Winner: Eurocopter’s EC145/ UH-72A
UH-72A Lakota Variants
LUH Industrial Arrangements
American UH-72As: Contracts and Key Events
FY 2013 – 2014
FY 2007 and Earlier
Appendix A: Eurocopter – Anatomy of a Win
Additional Readings & Sources
News & Views
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