Milestone marks a significant level of maturity for the program, maintaining the Lakota’s position as one of the most successful acquisition programs in Department of Defense history.
The Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota fleet recently exceeded 500,000 flight hours, operating in a multitude of military missions and tasks around the globe.
“This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our employees who have helped make the UH-72A Lakota the most viable and affordable multi-mission helicopter for our customers,” said Chris Emerson, president and head Airbus Helicopters North America Region.
Airbus has delivered more than 420 Lakotas since the UH-72A was competitively selected in 2005. “It’s essential that we continue our unbroken record of delivering every aircraft on time and on cost, so our customers can accomplish their challenging missions safely and efficiently. Their positive customer experience is our charter, and we are always striving to enhance the Lakota fleet,” Emerson said.
Available in multiple configurations with the lowest cost to buy, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production, the UH-72A is a key component of the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) and the primary rotary-wing trainer for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.
Lakotas have been employed extensively in support of Customs and Border Control operations along the U.S. Southwest border and in response to wildfires in California, and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
Most recently, West Virginia National Guard Lakota helicopters were used for reconnaissance missions in coordination with local police, providing eyes in the sky during execution of drug-interdiction search warrants, highlighting the unique versatility of this aircraft and its ability to perform in joint governmental and non-governmental agency operations.
The UH-72A Lakota final assembly is completed at Airbus Helicopters Inc. production center in Columbus, Miss.
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