The US Army received its 300th UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter on 15 May 2014.
The Lakota is manufactured in the USA, by Airbus Helicopters’ facility in Columbus, Mississippi. Since the UH-72A contract was competitively awarded in 2006, the company has delivered the Lakota in seven different configurations for missions including training, border security, search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, VIP transport and range support. Five aircraft are also in service with the US Naval Test Pilot School, which trains Navy, Marine Corps and Army test pilots.
Army officials have recently indicated plans to modernize the service’s rotorcraft training fleet with the UH-72A. The UH-72A has a baseline unit cost of just US$ 5.5 million. The chopper fleet recently passed the 200,000 flight hour milestone, and it maintains greater than 90 percent availability with full contractor logistics support.
The 300th Army Lakota will serve with the Missouri National Guard. The aircraft was delivered in the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion configuration, which expands the UH-72A’s capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations. The S&S configuration includes an electro-optical and infrared sensor, searchlight, digital video recorder, secure data downlink and moving map.
Source: Airbus Helicopters