EADS North America is pursuing a US Army aerial targets requirement in the wake of winning its first Department of Defense prime contract. At the army's invitation, EADS recently conducted a demonstration of its Do DT-25 and DT-35 air-defence training targets at a US range.

"It's a small contract, but a prime opportunity," says Ralph Crosby, EADS North America chief executive. "We have a very competitive offering." EADS's drive to penetrate the US defence market is based on offering existing products, such as the Eurocopter EC145 recently selected as the US Army's light utility helicopter (LUH).

The US Army is looking for low-cost aerial targets, but has not yet decided whether to acquire the drones or target services, says Crosby. EADS Deutschland produces the 40kg (88lb) jet-powered DT-25 and 70-100kg twinjet DT-35, both of which are catapult-launched and parachute-recovered.

EADS North America is gearing up to produce the EC145 in the USA as the UH-72A LUH. Initial helicopters are now in assembly in Germany, but by the 60th aircraft final assembly will have been transferred to American Eurocopter in Columbus, Mississippi. Full production in the USA is planned by around the 100th of 322 aircraft, says Crosby.

Source: Flight International