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Press release EADS North America to accelerate production of the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter
Arlington, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia, May 9, 2007 – Deliveries of the U.S. Army’s newest rotary-wing aircraft are continuing ahead of schedule as EADS North America plans to increase production output of the twin-engine UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter.
Six UH-72As have been received by the Army to date, with the no. 6 helicopter displayed this week at the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
The delivery rate will be ramping up to two Light Utility Helicopters per month in September, meeting EADS North America’s production target for the current program phase. At full-rate production, the company plans to build five UH-72As per month.
“EADS North America continues to meet its commitments on this highly important contract, and we have mobilized our company’s full resources to ensure that the Army receives high-quality, mission-ready aircraft,” said David R. Oliver, Jr., the President and CEO of EADS North America Defense.
UH-72As delivered to date are assigned to the U.S. Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, with more than 550 flight hours logged so far by the Lakota fleet.
The Army has a requirement for up to 322 UH-72As in a 10 year program with a total life-cycle value of over $2 billion. These helicopters will be operated primarily within the U.S. for homeland security operations, medical evacuation, passenger/logistics transportation and drug interdiction missions. Many of them will be assigned to Army National Guard units in locations throughout the country, allowing older-generation helicopters to be retired and freeing up larger rotary-wing aircraft for assignment to other duties – including deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assembly and production of the UH-72A is performed at the Columbus, Mississippi facility of American Eurocopter, a business unit of EADS North America. American Eurocopter is in the process of enlarging this site – located at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport – to accommodate the Light Utility Helicopter’s production and deliveries. This expansion is on schedule for completion this September, and includes new buildings for the Lakota’s assembly hall, flight line and storage area, paint shop, warehouse, administrative offices, flight operations and flight test engineering.
The UH-72A contract expands EADS North America’s 20-year heritage as a supplier to U.S. homeland security and law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency, FBI, and numerous state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States.
About EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)
EADS North America is the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $10 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 190,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. With 12 operating companies located in 30 cities and 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
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