Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe.

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New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Aerospace & Defense News - Defense Europe) Nov 18, 2012

Airbus, EADS EADS North America Awarded $181.8 Million Army Contract Option for 34 UH-72A Lakotas. The U.S. Army has awarded EADS North America a $181.8 million contract option to deliver 34 additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters, bringing the total aircraft ordered to date to 312. Army plans call for procuring 347 Lakotas through 2016. EADS North America has delivered 243 Lakotas -- all on time and on budget -- from its American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss., where up to five aircraft per month are produced by a workforce that is more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans. The same production line would produce the company's armed Lakota derivative, the AAS-72X+, for the Army's Armed Aerial Scout helicopter program. "This latest contract award is a reflection of EADS North America's commitment to on-time, on-cost performance with the Lakota, a proven, flexible aircraft that is flying every day to meet the Army's mission," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. "We're proud of delivering on our promises. In today's fiscal environment, the Army needs and deserves programs that meet their cost and schedule commitments." "The Lakota program is an example of a successful program that is meeting the Army's needs by complying with the Army and OSD goals for an ACAT-1 high performing program," said Colonel Thomas H. Todd, the Utility Helicopters Project Manager. "High performing, well-run programs are the benchmark for major defense program acquisition; the Lakota is clearly in that category." Aircraft deliveries under the latest option will begin in September 2013. The contract also includes eight engine inlet barrier filter kits. Twenty-four of the aircraft on this contract will receive the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package (MEP), which was procured under a separate contract action. The S&S Battalion MEP expands the Lakota's capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations. It includes a moving map, EO/IR sensor, digital video recording capability, digital and analog downlink, and a searchlight. Army National Guard units across the country currently operate Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP, including extensive operations along the U.S. southwest border. A combination of full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the Active Army and hybrid CLS for the...

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