U.S. Army's UH-72A light utility helicopter achieves program milestones

ARLINGTON, Va., 23 Dec. 2007. EADS North America's UH-72A Lakota program has achieved on-time or ahead-of-schedule deliveries of 16 operationally-ready Light Utility Helicopters for deployment with U.S. Army units across the country.

ARLINGTON, Va., 23 Dec. 2007.EADS North America's UH-72A Lakota program has achieved on-time or ahead-of-schedule deliveries of 16 operationally-ready light utility helicopters for deployment with U.S. Army units across the country.

During the past 12 months, the LUH program has achieved all of the light utility helicopter program's targeted milestones -- including full-rate production authorization from the Army, the issuance of FAA production certification authority for U.S.-built UH-72As, and the Lakota's service introduction with Army units.

The Army took delivery of its first UH-72A Lakota in November 2006 and EADS North Americahas ramped up the delivery pace in order to meet the requirements of the U.S. Army. Current production rates are two helicopters per month and is scheduled to increase to three Lakota's monthly in the first quarter of 2008.

UH-72As have averaged over 90 percent full mission capability rate for the aircraft delivered to date. Up to 345 UH-72As will be acquired by the Army for homeland security operations, medical evacuation, passenger/logistics transportation, and drug interdiction missions.

Lakotas are in service for transportation, VIP, and support missions with the Army's Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, La., and with the TRADOC Flight Detachment at Ft. Eustis/Ft. Monroe in Virginia's Hampton Roads region. Additionally, UH-72As equipped for medical evacuation with litters and an external rescue hoist are flown by the National Training Center Air Ambulance Detachment at Ft. Irwin, Calif. -- which was the Army's first unit equipped with the new light utility helicopter.

Deliveries of the UH-72A are performed from a new assembly and production facility at the Columbus, Mississippi plant of American Eurocopter, an EADS North America business unit. This 314,500 square-foot facility includes the assembly hall, flight line, paint shop, warehouse, administrative offices, flight operations, and flight test engineering.

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