EADS North America to equip UH-72A Lakotas for Security and Support Battalion missions

EADS North Amer­i­ca receives the first phase of a $152 mil­lion U.S. Army con­tract to equip UH-72A Lako­tas for Secu­ri­ty and Sup­port Bat­tal­ion mis­sions

Arling­ton, Vir­ginia — The U.S. Army has award­ed EADS North Amer­i­ca a $67 mil­lion con­tract for the sup­ply of Mis­sion Equip­ment Pack­ages (MEP) on UH-72A Lako­ta Light Util­i­ty Heli­copters to be oper­at­ed by Army Nation­al Guard Secu­ri­ty and Sup­port Bat­tal­ions (S&S Bat­tal­ions). This con­tract award is the first phase of a total con­tract val­ue esti­mat­ed to be approx­i­mate­ly $152 mil­lion.

Built at the company’s Amer­i­can Euro­copter facil­i­ty in Colum­bus, Miss., these sys­tem improve­ments will be out­fit­ted on UH-72As deployed through­out the Unit­ed States where the Army Nation­al Guard Lako­ta air­craft are sta­tioned. The pack­ages expand the Lakota’s use in recon­nais­sance, bor­der pro­tec­tion, com­mand and con­trol and air move­ment oper­a­tions that sup­port U.S. home­land defense and secu­ri­ty mis­sions.

“This con­tract under­scores EADS North America’s abil­i­ty to inte­grate com­plex mis­sion sys­tems that meet our warfight­ers’ needs,” said EADS North Amer­i­ca Chair­man Ralph D. Cros­by, Jr. “It also marks a new mile­stone in the evo­lu­tion of the UH-72A, as this capa­ble heli­copter is giv­en increas­ing­ly diverse oper­a­tional duties with the U.S. Army. Sup­port­ing the S&S mis­sion is fur­ther evi­dence of our indus­try team’s com­mit­ment to deliv­er­ing state-of-the art prod­ucts that enable the Army to meet today’s demand­ing mis­sions.”

Deliv­er­ies of UH-72As with the S&S Bat­tal­ion Mis­sion Equip­ment Pack­age are sched­uled to begin in 2011. The con­tract announced today cov­ers EADS North America’s sup­ply of an ini­tial 36 MEPs, with the U.S. Army expect­ed to ulti­mate­ly acquire sys­tems to out­fit a total of 99 Lako­ta heli­copters.

The UH-72A S&S Bat­tal­ion con­fig­u­ra­tion includes a for­ward cen­ter­line-mount­ed cam­era sys­tem with elec­tro-opti­cal and infrared sen­sors and laser point­er, a 30 mil­lion can­dle­pow­er search­light, oper­a­tor con­sole, cock­pit and cab­in touch-screen dis­plays with mov­ing map, a video man­age­ment sys­tem, a dig­i­tal video recorder and data down­link sys­tem, plus an exter­nal hoist and addi­tion­al avion­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment.

Locat­ed through­out the Unit­ed States, the U.S. Army Nation­al Guard S&S Bat­tal­ions pro­vide a dis­persed, read­i­ly avail­able, light avi­a­tion capa­bil­i­ty for mil­i­tary mis­sions and oper­a­tions in sup­port of civ­il author­i­ties. These units cur­rent­ly oper­ate aging Viet­nam-era rotary-wing air­craft, which will be replaced by the UH-72A.

The UH-72A is pro­duced in Colum­bus, Miss., by the Amer­i­can Euro­copter oper­at­ing unit of EADS North Amer­i­ca, which built a ded­i­cat­ed assem­bly line for the Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter. A sys­tems inte­gra­tion facil­i­ty was cre­at­ed at this site to man­age the devel­op­ment of UH-72A’s Mis­sion Equip­ment Pack­age for the Army Nation­al Guard S&S Bat­tal­ion con­fig­u­ra­tion.

A total of 345 UH-72As are planned for acqui­si­tion by the U.S. Army through 2015, which includes the ver­sions out­fit­ted for oper­a­tion by the S&S Bat­tal­ions.

To date, EADS North Amer­i­ca has deliv­ered a total of 134 UH-72As, all deliv­ered on time and with­in bud­get. These air­craft are being used in mis­sions across the U.S and Puer­to Rico that include med­ical evac­u­a­tion (MEDEVAC), search and res­cue, drug inter­dic­tion, VIP trans­port and gen­er­al avi­a­tion sup­port.

UH-72As have been deployed over­seas as well, with air­craft now assigned to the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi­na­tion­al Readi­ness Cen­ter (JMRC) in Ger­many for train­ing and sup­port oper­a­tions, and based on the Pacif­ic Ocean’s Kwa­jalein Atoll for trans­port and sup­port mis­sions at the Army’s Ronald Rea­gan Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Test Site.

In anoth­er appli­ca­tion for the Lako­ta, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patux­ent Riv­er Naval Air Sta­tion, Md., oper­ates five H‑72A ver­sions for the train­ing of test pilots from the U.S. mil­i­tary and allied coun­tries.

The UH-72A is a Defense Acqui­si­tion Cat­e­go­ry (ACAT) I major defense acqui­si­tion pro­gram for the U.S. Defense Depart­ment, and it has marked one of the most rapid intro­duc­tions of a new air­craft in the U.S. Army’s his­to­ry. Deliv­er­ies of the air­craft to Nation­al Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH‑1 rotary-wing air­craft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active com­po­nent of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assign­ment to warfight­ing mis­sions.

About Amer­i­can Euro­copter

Amer­i­can Euro­copter is a heli­copter man­u­fac­tur­er that pro­duces, mar­kets, sells and sup­ports the broad­est range of civ­il and para-pub­lic heli­copters offered by any man­u­fac­tur­er in the Unit­ed States. The com­pa­ny is a sub­sidiary of EADS North Amer­i­ca Hold­ings, the North Amer­i­can oper­a­tions of EADS, a glob­al leader in aero­space, defense and relat­ed ser­vices, and is an affil­i­ate of Euro­copter, the largest heli­copter man­u­fac­tur­er in the world. Amer­i­can Eurocopter’s prod­uct line rep­re­sents the most cost-effec­tive, tech­no­log­i­cal­ly-advanced heli­copters, rang­ing from light sin­gle to heavy twin, serv­ing all mar­kets and mis­sions. Com­pa­ny head­quar­ters and main facil­i­ties are locat­ed in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty in Colum­bus, Miss., that pro­duces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter pro­gram.

About EADS North Amer­i­ca

EADS North Amer­i­ca is the North Amer­i­can oper­a­tion of EADS, a glob­al leader in aero­space, defense and relat­ed ser­vices. As a leader in all sec­tors of defense and home­land secu­ri­ty, EADS North Amer­i­ca and its par­ent com­pa­ny, EADS, con­tribute over $11 bil­lion to the U.S. econ­o­my annu­al­ly and sup­port more than 200,000 Amer­i­can jobs through its net­work of sup­pli­ers and ser­vices. Oper­at­ing in 17 states, EADS North Amer­i­ca offers a broad array of advanced solu­tions to its cus­tomers in the com­mer­cial, home­land secu­ri­ty, aero­space and defense mar­kets.

About EADS

EADS is a glob­al leader in aero­space, defense and relat­ed ser­vices. In 2009, the Group — com­pris­ing Air­bus, Astri­um, Cas­sid­i­an and Euro­copter – gen­er­at­ed rev­enues of € 42.8 bil­lion and employed a work­force of more than 119,000.

EADS North Amer­i­ca

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