EADS North America UH-72A Lakota fleet hits 100,000 flight hour milestone

Lako­ta fleet achieves 100,000 flight hours with 219 air­craft oper­at­ing in U.S., Europe, Caribbean, and Pacif­ic with Army and Army Nation­al Guard units

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The U.S. Army’s fleet of 219 UH-72A Lako­ta heli­copters sur­passed the 100,000 flight hour mile­stone dur­ing oper­a­tions on May 10. The 100,000 flight hour air­craft, con­fig­ured for Oppos­ing Force train­ing mis­sions, was flown by Chief War­rant Offi­cer 3 Jason Lacrosse and Chief War­rant Offi­cer 4 Christo­pher Ezell of the Joint Multi­na­tion­al Readi­ness Center’s Fal­con Observer/­Con­troller-Train­er Team in Hohen­fels, Ger­many, dur­ing a multi­na­tion­al train­ing exer­cise.

The Army’s fleet of Lako­ta heli­copters, built by the company’s Amer­i­can Euro­copter busi­ness unit in Colum­bus, Miss., have been in oper­a­tion since Novem­ber 2006 with all 219 heli­copters to date deliv­ered on sched­ule and with­in bud­get. The Army’s require­ment is 345 Lako­tas through 2016. An addi­tion­al five air­craft have been deliv­ered to the U.S. Navy for test pilot train­ing.

“Achiev­ing 100,000 flight hours in just five-and-a-half years and remain­ing on sched­ule and on cost is an extra­or­di­nary accom­plish­ment for a major defense acqui­si­tion pro­gram,” said Col. Thomas Todd, the Army’s Util­i­ty Heli­copter Project Man­ag­er.

“Over the past sev­en years, the Lako­ta pro­gram has been a mod­el of pro­gram exe­cu­tion, and this lat­est flight mile­stone rein­forces the reli­a­bil­i­ty and sol­id per­for­mance of the UH-72A,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North Amer­i­ca Chair­man and CEO. “Our entire indus­try team takes great pride in deliv­er­ing a fleet of air­craft with an extreme­ly high oper­a­tional avail­abil­i­ty rate, mis­sion flex­i­bil­i­ty and extra­or­di­nary reli­a­bil­i­ty. The program’s suc­cess is built on a very strong part­ner­ship with the Army pro­gram office.”

The 100,000 flight hour mile­stone reflects the struc­ture and exe­cu­tion of the Lako­ta program’s logis­tics con­cept. A com­bi­na­tion of full con­trac­tor logis­tics sup­port (CLS) and hybrid CLS enables the Army and Army Nation­al Guard to oper­ate the air­craft in accor­dance with their fly­ing hour plan. The Army pro­gram office, mil­i­tary units, and the indus­try team of EADS North Amer­i­ca, Amer­i­can Euro­copter and Heli­copter Sup­port Inter­na­tion­al has pro­vid­ed tai­lored pro­gram logis­tics to the Army and Army Nation­al Guard since 2006.

The Lako­ta fleet has aver­aged an oper­a­tional avail­abil­i­ty rate greater than 90 per­cent for loca­tions with the full con­trac­tor logis­tics (CLS) sup­port, encom­pass­ing 18 dif­fer­ent mil­i­tary units. The hybrid CLS is equal­ly suc­cess­ful with a parts sup­port fill rate exceed­ing 95 per­cent. These met­rics are 10 per­cent high­er than the program’s con­trac­tu­al require­ments.

The lat­est evo­lu­tion of the Lako­ta is deliv­ered in the Secu­ri­ty and Sup­port (S&S) Bat­tal­ion Mis­sion Equip­ment Pack­age con­fig­u­ra­tion for the Army Nation­al Guard, which is cur­rent­ly using numer­ous S&S Lako­tas along the U.S. South­west bor­der, fly­ing 1,500 hours in the first three months of oper­a­tion.

The S&S MEP con­tains a cen­ter­line elec­tro-opti­cal infrared (EO/IR) sen­sor, a 30 mil­lion can­dle­pow­er search light, analog/digital video down­link, rear observer’s con­sole with a 15-inch dis­play, an enhanced tac­ti­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tions suite, an onboard dig­i­tal video recorder, 10.4‑inch aux­il­iary dis­plays for the pilot and copi­lot, and a video man­age­ment sys­tem.

The UH-72A is a Defense Acqui­si­tion Cat­e­go­ry (ACAT) 1C major defense acqui­si­tion pro­gram for the U.S. Defense Depart­ment, and it marked one of the most rapid intro­duc­tions of a new air­craft in the U.S. Army’s his­to­ry. Deliv­er­ies of the UH-72A to Nation­al Guard and Active Com­po­nent units allow aging OH-58 and UH‑1 rotary-wing air­craft to be retired and allow UH-60 Black Hawks to be returned to com­bat oper­a­tions.

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 2011, the Group — com­pris­ing Air­bus, Astri­um, Cas­sid­i­an and Euro­copter – gen­er­at­ed rev­enues of € 49.1 bil­lion and employed a work­force of over 133,000.

Mr. Tim Payn­ter
Rotor­craft pro­grams; Space pro­grams
EADS North Amer­i­ca
2550 Wass­er Ter­race, Suite 9000
20171 Hern­don, VA