US Army Gets 200th UH-72A Lakota Helicopter

Last week, EADS North America delivered the 200th UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to the U.S. Army. The UH-72 Lakota is a twin-engine helicopter with a single, four-bladed main rotor. The UH-72 is a militarized version of the Eurocopter EC145 and is built by American Eurocopter division of EADS North America.

The 200th Lakota helicopter is the first production aircraft to be delivered with the new Security and Support (S&S) Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP).

The S&S MEP contains a centerline electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) sensor, a 30 million candle power search light, analog/digital video downlink, rear observer’s console with a 15-inch display, an enhanced tactical communications suite, an onboard digital video recorder, 10.4-inch auxiliary displays for the pilot and co-pilot, and a video management system.

The Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP will be operated by Army National Guard units across the country, replacing the aging OH-58 and UH-1. The enhanced capability provided by the MEP enables these units to seamlessly support state and local law enforcement and federal homeland security agencies in responding to natural disasters, law enforcement and border security operations.

200th UH-72A Lakota

Currently 52 Lakota helicopters will be produced in the Army’s S&S Battalion configuration, in addition to 16 Lakota helicopters being retrofitted to this configuration. The total anticipated number of S&S Battalion Lakotas will grow to 99 aircraft. EADS North America has now delivered 200 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army, on time and within budget, along with five H-72A versions to the U.S. Navy for test pilot training.

The current total program of record calls for 346 UH-72A Lakotas to be delivered to the Army and Army National Guard through 2016, along with the five already delivered to the U.S. Navy. UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army will replace UH-60 Black Hawks.

Image: EADS North America

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