The U.S. Army has awarded EADS North America a $67 million contract for the supply of Mission Equipment Packages (MEP) on UH-72A Lakota Light Utility helicopters to be operated by Army National Guard Security and Support Battalions (S&S Battalions). This contract award is the first phase of a total contract value estimated to be about $152 million.
Built at the company’s American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss., these system improvements will be outfitted on UH-72As deployed throughout the United States where the Army National Guard Lakota aircraft are stationed. The UH-72A S&S Battalion configuration includes a forward centerline-mounted camera system with electro-optical and infrared sensors and laser pointer, a 30 million candlepower searchlight, operator console, cockpit and cabin touch-screen displays with moving map, a video management system, a digital video recorder and data downlink system, plus an external hoist and additional avionics and communications equipment.
Deliveries of UH-72As with the S&S Battalion Mission Equipment Package are scheduled to begin in 2011. This contract covers EADS North America’s supply of an initial 36 MEPs, with the U.S. Army expected to ultimately acquire systems to outfit a total of 99 Lakota helicopters.