The US Army has decided to buy 12 additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters and associated mission equipment packages, fulfilling an option in an earlier contract for Lakota helicopters. The deal is worth 65.8 million USD . The UH-72A is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters at its final assembly plant in Columbus, Miss., which has already produced and delivered almost 350 Lakotas to date.
The 12 aircraft will be delivered starting in August 2017 and configured for the army as initial entry rotary-wing trainers. This year the army has fielded more than 50 Lakotas to Fort Rucker, Alabama, in preparation for the UH-72A’s formal introduction into the training curriculum by early 2016. Ultimately, army plans call for an initial-entry rotary wing training fleet of 187 Lakotas, made up of a mix of new deliveries and already in-service aircraft reconfigured for the training mission.
The UH-72A was competitively selected in 2006 for a broad range of active Army and Army National Guard missions, including training, search and rescue, medical evacuation, border security, command and control, VIP transport and general utility.
The Royal Thai Army is the first allied operator of the UH-72A, having purchased six aircraft to date through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program.
Source: Airbus Helicopters
Featured image (top): A US Army UH-72A Lakota. (Image © Airbus / James Darcy)