EADS North America has started a voluntary flight demonstration of its AAS-72X+ helicopter for the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout programme. The company plans to fly two aircraft - an AAS-72X and an EC145 T2 - over the next two weeks at a "high altitude location".
"We welcome this opportunity to prove the superior capabilities of our offering for the Army's Armed Aerial Scout, and we're ready to move forward into a competition," says Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America chairman.
EADS North America
Should the AAS-72X+ win a renewed army competition, the aircraft would replace the Bell OH-58 helicopter. It would be manufactured in Columbus, Mississippi, by EADS's American Eurocopter unit, but its mission systems would be provided by Lockheed Martin. The company says the type could be fielded as early as 2016.
However, a new competition is not a foregone conclusion.