Airbus Helicopters, Inc. has announced that it has signed a contract modification with the US Army to provide an additional 16 UH-72A Lakota helicopters. The aircraft will be utilised for MEDEVAC, troop and light cargo transport and border security among other uses.
Airbus says that this contract modification is worth an additional US$116 million and is the second contract between the two organisations this year, which Airbus says highlights the growth capability of the Lakota programme.
The contract includes the UH-72A production aircraft as well as associated technical associated technical and flight operator manuals and program management in training configuration for the Initial Entry Rotary Wing mission at Ft. Rucker.
“We are proud of our partnership with the U.S. Army. As the world’s best Helicopter Trainer provider, we recognise how important an asset the Lakota is for Army Aviation and our nation. Our employees at Airbus are committed to delivering every aircraft on-cost and on-schedule, without exception,” said Chris Emerson, President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of the North America Region.
Airbus has delivered more than 420 of the twin-engine aircraft since it was first awarded the contract in 2005. Airbus says that new contract enhances the Lakota fleet and its training mission, allowing Lakota operators to have more capability to conduct and support disaster relief and counter-drug operations in support of civil agencies or national emergencies.
“Our mission of providing this vital national asset is crucial to the protection of our country and the closure of the pilot shortage gap,” Emerson added.