About the UH-72A
UH-72A quick facts
- Max. Weight: 7,903 lbs.
- Capacity: 2 pilots + 6 passengers
- Power plant: 2 Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines
- Fast cruise speed: 131 kts.
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EADS North America and American Eurocopter open a new chapter in their history when they become Airbus Group, Inc. and Airbus Helicopters, Inc., respectively. The new name draws on the globally recognized Airbus brand, while continuing the proven excellence on the UH-72A, of which more than 280 have been delivered – all on-time and on-budget.
EADS North America delivers the 250th on-time, on-budget UH-72A Lakota helicopter to U.S. Army. The milestone 250th Army Lakota will be operated out of Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma National Guard. It is 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.
A $181.8 million U.S. Army contract option to deliver 34 additional UH-72As is announced by EADS North America. This brings to 312 the total number of aircraft ordered to date, with Army plans calling for the procurement of 347 Lakotas through 2016.
The U.S. Army’s fleet of UH-72A helicopters surpasses the accumulated 100,000 flight hour total. This milestone occurred using a Lakota that was supporting multinational training with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center’s Falcon Observer/Controller-Trainer Team in Hohenfels, Germany. The 100,000-flight hour aircraft was configured for Opposing Force training missions.
The 200th UH-72A Lakota is delivered to the U.S. Army by EADS North America during a ceremony at the company’s American Eurocopter production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, building on the program’s seven years of success.
- November 5
EADS North America announces that the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP) has entered operational service with the Mississippi National Guard’s Company C, 1st of the 114th Security and Support Battalion. The MEP includes a centerline electro-optical infrared sensor, a 30-million candle power searchlight, 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.
- October 10
Another major milestone in the UH-72A program becomes official as EADS North America acknowledges the delivery of Lakotas to the National Guard outfitted with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP). The S&S Battalion MEP greatly expands the capabilities of the Army’s Lakota helicopters and further demonstrates the platform’s flexibility for growth and mission-specific configurations.
- August 24
EADS North America announces that deliveries of U.S. Army UH-72A Lakotas have surpassed their half-way point for the planned 345 helicopters to be acquired by the service. This maintains the UH-72A as one of the U.S. Army’s most successful acquisition programs, which is repeatedly noted by Defense Department officials for its on-time and on-budget deliveries.
- May 3
The UH-72A Lakota demonstrates its search and rescue capabilities by locating and airlifting six Boy Scouts and two adults from a remote area of the Ouachita National Forrest in southwest Arkansas. This mission was performed by an Arkansas Army National UH-72A from A Company, 114th Aviation Regiment, Security and Support Team.
- March 4
EADS North America delivers the 100th UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army. This aircraft will be deployed to Germany with the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) – becoming part of the unit’s Combat Training Center, and further expanding the Lakota’s mission applications.
- January 25
The U.S. Army’s UH-72A joins disaster response operations following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. This air support is provided by the Puerto Rico National Guard, which received its Lakota helicopters in 2009.
- January 9
A formal ceremony marks the UH-72A’s arrival with the Alabama Army National Guard. The Alabama Lakotas are assigned to Detachment 1, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment, which has federal-level mission responsibilities that include aerial command, control and reconnaissance in homeland security operations. The unit also is tasked with state-level support for Alabama’s governor and community-based organizations.
- December 10
EADS North America announces the U.S. Army’s award of the fifth year contract for Lakotas. Valued at $247.2 million, this contract brings the total number of UH-72A helicopters ordered by the U.S. Army to 178.
- November 12
The U.S. Navy formally receives the first two of five H-72As for the training of test pilots from the U.S. military and allied countries. These aircraft, which are versions of the UH-72A, are assigned to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent Naval Air Station, Maryland.
- July 20
Delivery of the first two UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army for operations in Puerto Rico is announced by EADS North America. Both Lakotas are located at San Juan’s Isla Grande Airport, and are operated by Detachment B/1-114AV of the Puerto Rico National Guard in general aviation support missions.
- June 11
EADS North America and American Eurocopter announce the selection of an industry supplier team to outfit Lakotas for Security and Support (S&S) missions. UH-72As in the S&S configuration will provide Army National Guard units the flexibility to respond to a range of Homeland Security, Homeland Defense and civil law enforcement support missions.
- March 11
The first MEDEVAC-configured (medical evacuation) UH-72A for the National Guard is formally delivered to the District of Columbia National Guard.
Five additional UH-72As are ordered by the U.S. Army, bringing the total number of aircraft on contract with EADS North America to 128. To date, more than 53 UH-72As have been delivered by the company, all of which have been provided on time or ahead of schedule.
- December 16
EADS North America delivers the 50th and 51st UH-72A Lakota helicopters to the U.S. Army, with these aircraft received by the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site. Based in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., the training facility may operate as many as 18 UH-72As in the qualification of Army and Army National Guard aviators on the new helicopter.
- November 26
The U.S. Army awards EADS North America an order for 39 additional UH-72A Lakotas, extending contracted production of the twin-engine rotary-wing aircraft through 2010. The new acquisition brings the total number of UH-72As ordered by the Army to 123, with the military service planning to acquire 345 of the helicopters through 2016.
- September 30
EADS North America delivers its first final assembly line (FAL) aircraft from the UH-72A production facility at Columbus, Mississippi. This key step – which was achieved on schedule – is part of EADS North America’s commitment to establishing full production of the UH-72A in the United States.
- September 24
Two UH-72A Lakotas from the 5th Aviation Battalion at Fort Polk, Louisiana, visit their namesake American Indian tribe in South Dakota during a trip that also includes a fly-past of Mount Rushmore. The UH-72As are present for the Lakota Sioux’s annual sun dance, and the aircraft also fly aerial photography missions over each of the tribe’s holy sites that are being compiled in a local university project.
- September 12
The U.S. Navy orders five UH-72 aircraft for use in pilot training at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland. Deliveries are scheduled from October 2009 through January 2010. This new acquisition underscores the twin-engine helicopter’s versatility in a full range of operational missions and applications.
- June 7
The U.S. Army National Guard’s first two Lakotas are formally presented to the 1-114 Security & Support Battalion, which performs homeland security, counter-drug and other operations from its base at Mississippi’s Tupelo Regional Airport. Army National Guard units will be the primary operators of UH-72As, ultimately receiving 200 of the total 345 Lakotas planned for acquisition through 2016.
- September 30
EADS North America marks another milestone for the UH-72A by delivering two Lakotas to the U.S. Army in a single month. These are the 11th and 12th UH-72As received by the Army since deliveries of the helicopter began in December 2006, and they also are the second and third “made in America” Lakotas, which are certified under U.S. production authority.
- September 4
Full-rate production of the UH-72A is approved by the U.S. Army, clearing the way for continued acquisition of the program’s total requirement of 322 aircraft. This milestone follows an Army review of program management, production, manpower, logistics and other aspects of the UH-72A program – validating EADS North America’s capability to meet the service’s delivery, quality and support requirements.
- August 27
The American Eurocopter business unit of EADS North America is granted production authorization for UH-72A and EC145 helicopters, enabling these rotary-wing aircraft to be U.S.-made for military and civilian customers.
- June 19
In one of the fastest introductions of a new aircraft in the service’s history, the U.S. Army equips its first operational unit with EADS North America’s UH-72A Lakota. This milestone is reached when the National Training Center Air Ambulance Detachment at Ft. Irwin, California receives its sixth Lakota.
- May 9
Production of the UH-72A continues to accelerate as EADS North America’s deliveries of the U.S. Army’s Lakota continue ahead of schedule. Six UH-72As have been received by the Army to date, with the no. 6 helicopter displayed at the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
- December 11
EADS North America begins delivering UH-72As to the U.S. Army. During the initial delivery ceremony, the Army unveils the UH-72A Lakota designation for the aircraft – continuing its tradition of naming its helicopter after U.S. Native American tribes.
- October 31
The number of UH-145s under contract by the U.S. Army increases by 34, bringing the total on order to 42. In addition, the Army acquires six additional external hoist kits along with six MEDEVAC "B-kits," which enable the Army to quickly reconfigure the UH-145 for medical transport missions from passenger or logistics configurations.
- June 30
The U.S. Army selects EADS North America’s UH-145 as the competition winner, awarding contract for its requirement of 322 aircraft at a potential total program life-cycle value of over $2 billion.
- August 24
EADS North America offers the UH-145 advanced rotary-wing aircraft for the U.S. Army. The UH-145 is based on the highly successful EC145 helicopter, which has been in production since 2002 for law enforcement, paramilitary and security agencies, emergency medical service providers, offshore operators and corporations in America and around the world.