USAEADS North America to build three Armed Aerial Scout 72X Technology Demonstration Aircraft

EADS North Amer­i­ca and its indus­try team of Amer­i­can Euro­copter and Lock­heed Mar­tin (NYSE: LMT) will inde­pen­dent­ly fund and devel­op three AAS-72X heli­copters to demon­strate the per­for­mance, capa­bil­i­ties and matu­ri­ty of this rotary-wing air­craft for the U.S. Army’s Armed Aer­i­al Scout mis­sion. The first AAS-72X Tech­ni­cal Demon­stra­tion Air­craft (TDA) will be oper­a­tional in late 2010, and will be used for mis­sion equip­ment and weapon sys­tem inte­gra­tion, per­for­mance test­ing and sur­viv­abil­i­ty val­i­da­tions.

AAS-72X helicopter
AAS-72X heli­copter
Source: EADS North Amer­i­ca

“This com­mit­ment is a sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment and con­tin­ues our entre­pre­neur­ial approach to meet­ing our cus­tomers’ demand­ing needs. These air­craft will ensure the AAS-72X pro­vides a ful­ly capa­ble, com­pli­ant Armed Aer­i­al Scout solu­tion for America’s warfight­ers at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble date,” said EADS North Amer­i­ca CEO Sean O’Keefe. “It is part of a low-risk approach that com­bines mature, devel­oped tech­nolo­gies with the proven UH-72A Lako­ta Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter – which is in wide­spread ser­vice with the U.S. Army.”

The AAS-72X flight test and demon­stra­tion pro­gram is backed by sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment from the EADS North Amer­i­ca-led indus­tri­al team – which includes Euro­copter, Amer­i­can Euro­copter and Lock­heed Mar­tin. In addi­tion to the three demon­stra­tion heli­copters, Lock­heed Mar­tin has estab­lished a high-fideli­ty sys­tems inte­gra­tion lab for the AAS-72X’s mis­sion equip­ment pack­age at its Orlan­do, Fla., facil­i­ty.

As a high­ly capa­ble heli­copter for the Armed Aer­i­al Scout mis­sion, the AAS-72X com­bines twin-engine safe­ty, high and hot oper­at­ing per­for­mance and a large cab­in for true mul­ti-role capa­bil­i­ty. The AAS-72X is derived from the UH-72A Lako­ta Light Util­i­ty Heli­copter, offer­ing a low-risk evo­lu­tion of the U.S. Army’s newest rotary-wing air­craft, which is wide­ly con­sid­ered one of the most suc­cess­ful acqui­si­tion pro­grams in the service’s his­to­ry.

Pro­duc­tion of the AAS-72X would take place at the Colum­bus, Miss., heli­copter cen­ter of excel­lence oper­at­ed by EADS North America’s sub­sidiary Amer­i­can Euro­copter, where the UH-72A cur­rent­ly is assem­bled for the U.S. Army. EADS North Amer­i­ca has deliv­ered more than 100 UH-72As on time and with­in bud­get.

The UH-72A in-ser­vice fleet is demon­strat­ing its mis­sion capa­bil­i­ties and reli­a­bil­i­ty with U.S. Army and Nation­al Guard, hav­ing logged more than 25,000 flight hours at an oper­a­tional readi­ness rate of greater than 90 per­cent.

The UH-72A Lako­ta is being con­fig­ured for addi­tion­al mis­sions in addi­tion to its role in med­ical evac­u­a­tion, pas­sen­ger trans­port and gen­er­al avi­a­tion duties. Addi­tion­al mis­sions include home­land security/homeland defense appli­ca­tions with Nation­al Guard Secu­ri­ty & Sup­port Bat­tal­ions, com­bat pilot train­ing sup­port at the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi­na­tion­al Readi­ness Cen­ter (JMRC) in Ger­many, logis­tics and trans­port duties at the U.S. Army’s mis­sile test range on the Pacif­ic Ocean’s Kwa­jalein Atoll, and the train­ing of U.S. and allied test pilots at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patux­ent Riv­er Naval Air Sta­tion, Md.

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.

Press release
Tim Payn­ter
Senior Man­ag­er
Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions EADS North Amer­i­ca
Tel.: 703–236-3346