UH-72A Lakota marks a new milestone with the U.S. Army as a single airframe surpasses the 1,000 flight hour mark

A U.S. Army UH-72A Lako­ta Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter oper­at­ed at Fort Eustis, Va., is the first Lako­ta to log 1,000 flight hours, under­scor­ing the grow­ing oper­a­tional tem­po of the rotary-wing air­craft in ser­vice with Army and Nation­al Guard units.

Built at the company’s Amer­i­can Euro­copter facil­i­ty in Colum­bus, Miss., the mile­stone Lako­ta is used for VIP and logis­tics mis­sions and was the sev­enth UH-72A built for the U.S. Army. It is based at Fort Eustis along with the eighth Lako­ta, which is approach­ing its own 1,000 flight hour mark. 

These heli­copters are flown by the U.S. Army’s Train­ing and Doc­trine Command’s (TRADOC) Flight Detach­ment and they sup­port oper­a­tions for the U.S. Army Trans­porta­tion Cen­ter, the U.S. Army Trans­porta­tion School, NCO Acad­e­my and Army Avi­a­tion Logis­tics School – all of which are based at Fort Eustis in New­port News, Va. 

“The real proof of a mil­i­tary system’s effec­tive­ness is the capa­bil­i­ties it brings in oper­a­tional ser­vice – which is being demon­strat­ed dai­ly by the Fort Eustis UH-72As, along with Lako­tas at a grow­ing num­ber of bases across the U.S. and over­seas,” said EADS North Amer­i­ca Chair­man Ralph D. Cros­by, Jr. 

EADS North Amer­i­ca has deliv­ered 125 Lako­tas to date, all pro­vid­ed on time and on bud­get. This fleet, which con­sists of 120 UH-72As for the U.S. Army and five H‑72As for the U.S. Navy, has accu­mu­lat­ed near­ly 40,000 flight hours at an oper­a­tional readi­ness rate greater than 90 percent. 

The U.S. Army plans to acquire 345 UH-72As through 2015 and the ser­vice has ordered 187 of these heli­copters so far includ­ing five for the Navy. UH-72As are oper­at­ed through­out the Unit­ed States, as well as in Puer­to Rico, Ger­many and at Kwa­jalein Atoll by active duty Army and Army Nation­al Guard units. They are used for mis­sions that include med­ical evac­u­a­tion (MEDEVAC), search and res­cue, home­land secu­ri­ty, VIP trans­port and gen­er­al avi­a­tion support. 

Deliv­er­ies of Lako­tas to Nation­al Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH‑1 rotary-wing air­craft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the U.S. Army’s active com­po­nent free up UH-60 Black Hawks for warfight­ing missions. 

In addi­tion to the Army air­craft, the Navy has based their five H‑72As at Patux­ent Riv­er Naval Air Sta­tion, Md., where they are used to train 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 this twin-engine helicopter’s ser­vice entry in 2007 marked one of the most rapid intro­duc­tions of a new air­craft in the U.S. Army’s history. 

About Amer­i­can Euro­copter (www.eurocopterusa.com) 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, TX, with a large man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty in Colum­bus, MS, that pro­duces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter program. 

About EADS North Amer­i­ca (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)

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. 

Source:
EADS North America

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