The U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday that Airbus Helicopters Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $122,655,293 modification to contract W58RGZ-18-C-0007 for procurement of 15 UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopters. Selected in June 2006 following a rigorous evaluation, it combines operational capability, reliability and affordability, fulfilling all of the U.S. Army’s requirements for speed, range, endurance and overall performance.
Two US senators of Mississippi, Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith announced that the contract has been awarded to Airbus Helicopters, with an initial obligation of $61.3m. It has a ceiling value of $122.6m. Work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2022. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement, U.S. Army funds in the amount of $122,655,293 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) UH-72 Lakota is a militarized version of the technologically-advanced and operationally-proven H145 family multi-mission helicopter, which is used worldwide for law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, search and rescue, offshore and utility operations, and corporate transportation. Initially marketed as the UH-145, the helicopter was selected as the winner of the United States Army’s Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program on 30 June 2006.
More than 440 Lakotas have been delivered to the Army since an initial contract for 345 UH-72s was awarded in 2006. Airbus in August delivered the 200th UH-72 to the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The Lakota became the primary training helicopter for all Army rotorcraft pilots as part of the Aviation Restructure Initiative aimed at moving combat aircraft like the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk from reserve to active Army units.