HERNDON, VA--(Marketwired - Apr 25, 2013) - The U.S. Army has fielded the 250th UH-72A Lakota helicopter delivered to Army and National Guard units by EADS North America since 2006. Every Lakota -- including an additional five produced for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School -- has been delivered on time and on budget, by an American workforce that is more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans.
The combined Lakota fleet's operations have now exceeded 150,000 flight hours, while maintaining greater than 90 percent availability. The Lakota is the Army's newest helicopter, with the lowest cost to fly, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production.
The Lakota is manufactured at EADS North America's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.
"In today's budget environment, the Pentagon needs programs that deliver what's been promised, and we're proud to have worked with the Army to field this capability unfailingly on schedule and on cost," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.
Army Lt. Col. David Cheney, the UH-72A Product Manager, stated, "The UH-72A Lakota helicopter program continues on schedule, within budget and is serving the Soldier very well. The success of this aircraft and program is a testament to EADS North America's team's determination to provide the best support for the Army and homeland security missions."
The 250th Army Lakota will be operated out of Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma National Guard. It is the latest of 54 Lakotas delivered with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package, which expands the Lakota's capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations.
The S&S configuration includes a moving map, EO/IR sensor, digital video recording capability, digital and analog downlink, and a searchlight. Army National Guard units across the country currently operate Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP, including extensive operations along the U.S. southwest border for border security and drug interdiction.
A combination of full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the active Army and hybrid CLS for the Army National Guard enables the units to operate the Lakota in accordance with their flying hour plan. The Army program office, military units, and the industry team of EADS North America, American Eurocopter and Helicopter Support International has provided tailored program logistics to the Army and Army National Guard since 2006.
The Lakota fleet has averaged an operational availability rate greater than 90 percent for locations with full contractor logistics support, encompassing 21 different military units. Spare parts fill rate under the hybrid CLS concept supporting 33 units has averaged 97 percent.
The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program, and was one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army's history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to combat missions.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $13 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.
About American Eurocopter
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, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss., that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army's Lakota program.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2012, the Group -- comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter -- generated revenues of EUR 56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.