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Airbus wins $221 million U.S. Army order for 41 helicopters

People are silhouetted past a logo of the Airbus Group during the Airbus annual news conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. unit of Europe's Airbus Group (AIR.PA) was awarded a contract worth $221 million to build 41 more UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for the U.S. Army, the Pentagon said in its daily digest of major contracts on Thursday.

The contract, which runs through July 31, 2017, marks a modification of Airbus's existing Army contract, and covers production of 41 more helicopters and associated radio communications systems.

The contracts brings the total number of Lakota helicopters ordered to 411, with the lion's share going to the U.S. Army, as well as five for the U.S. Navy and six for Thailand, said Airbus spokesman Jamie Darcy.

Airbus had delivered 331 of the aircraft as of Monday, Darcy said.

The U.S. Army's budget request for fiscal 2016 included $187 million for 28 more helicopters, with an eye to ordering 18 more in fiscal 2017.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, editing by G Crosse)