Army orders four UH-72 Lakota light helicopters and radios from Airbus in $22.9 million deal

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 21 Feb. 2014. Airbus Helicopters in Herndon, Va. (formerly EADS North America), will build four UH-72 Lakota utility helicopters for the U.S. Army under terms of a $22.9 million contract awarded Tuesday.

The contract from the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., calls for Airbus Helicopters to provide the four UH-72A helicopters with engine inlet barrier filters, and provide the rotorcraft with Raytheon AN/ARC-231 Airborne Communication System radios.

Related: Army asks EADS to provide six UH-72A light utility helicopters and aircraft data radios

The UH-72A Lakota, built in Columbus, Miss., has been designed for the U.S. Army, National Guard, and Navy for missions ranging from disaster response and border patrol to pilot training.

The UH-72 Lakota is a twin-engine helicopter with a four-bladed main rotor. The UH-72 is a militarized version of the EC145 rotorcraft. The helicopter was selected as the winner of the Army's Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program in 2006, to replace aging UH-1H/V and OH-58A/C helicopters in the Army and Army National Guard fleets.

Related: Army National Guard chooses tactical RF downlink from Cobham for fleet of UH-72 helicopters

Seating capacity of the Lakota is for two pilots and six passengers. Two stretchers can be installed for MEDEVAC missions with a crew of four: pilot, co-pilot and two medics.

Lakota helicopters have night vision goggle-compatible glass cockpits. Its vehicle and engine management display (VEMD) increases situational awareness and reduces pilot workload.

Related: Army to brief industry in March on contracting opportunities for aviation research

The Lakota helicopter is 33.4 feet long, 11.3 feet high, and 5.7 feet wide, with a 36.1-foot main rotor. It can lift nearly 4,000 pounds, fly as fast as 145 knots at altitudes to 11,300 feet above sea level. The rotorcraft can hover safely at 9,000 feet.

On this contract Airbus Helicopters will do the work in Columbia, Miss., and should be finished by March 2015. For more information contact Airbus Helicopters online at www.airbushelicopters.com, or the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal at www.acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc-rsa.

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