The US Army has awarded European manufacturer EADS an almost $182 million contract for 34 additional UH-72A Lakotas, the military version of the Eurocopter EC145.
EADS has so far delivered 243 UH-72s to the army and National Guard units, which use the helicopters for peacetime transport missions in lieu of more expensive Sikorsky UH-60s and Bell OH-58s, which are in high demand for missions in Afghanistan.
The UH-72 is not approved for combat use, but replaces combat helicopters for missions in which their capabilities are unnecessary, including peacetime medical evacuation and light transport tasks.
EADS North America
EADS is proposing a combat-qualified version of the UH-72 dubbed the AAS-72X+ for the army’s prospective armed aerial scout programme, in competition with versions of the Bell 407 and Boeing AH-6. The winner of a potential contest would replace the army’s aged OH-58s.
The civilian version has proved popular with US operators, particularly emergency medical evacuation providers.