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Press release EADS North America completes deliveries of the initial eight UH-72A Light Utility Helicopters to the U.S. Army
Latest two Lakotas, equipped for VIP transportation, complete the initial contract phase for the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program
Arlington, Virginia, July 23, 2007 – EADS North America has delivered its eighth UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army, completing the initial phase of a multi-billion dollar contract awarded the company last year for up to 322 Light Utility Helicopters.
As with the initial six UH-72As, the two newest Lakotas were delivered ahead of schedule – underscoring EADS North America’s commitment to this important Army acquisition program.
These two UH-72As are the first configured for VIP transportation duties, and are equipped with removable seats that also enable their use in general support and airlift/logistic missions. The aircraft departed from the Columbus, Mississippi facility of EADS North America’s American Eurocopter business unit and were flown to Ft. Eustis in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region.
The six previously-delivered Lakotas have been assigned to the National Training Center Air Ambulance Detachment at Ft. Irwin, California, which, in May became the first U.S. Army unit equipped with the UH-72A. They are outfitted for MEDEVAC missions, and carry an externally-mounted rescue hoist.
“The UH-72A is a priority program for EADS North America, and we are proud to have met our commitment for on-time deliveries of this newest member of the U.S. Army’s rotary-wing fleet,” said Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America’s Chairman and CEO. “All eight Lakotas covered by the Army’s first order were delivered in less than one year from the contract award – which is one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the service’s history.”
EADS North America will now begin delivering 34 UH-72As ordered by contract option exercised in October 2006.
The UH-72As will be used 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 of the UH-72A is performed in Mississippi by American Eurocopter at its facility adjacent to Columbus’ Golden Triangle Regional Airport. This plant is being expanded to a total covered area of 325,000 sq. ft, and its workforce will grow to approximately 330 employees. The construction of two new buildings is on schedule for completion this August, creating additional area to accommodate the Lakota’s production hall, flight line and storage area, paint shop, warehouse, administrative offices, flight operations and flight test engineering.
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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