An additional 12 UH-72A Lakotas have been ordered by the US Army. Airbus Helicopters was awarded a $65.83 million contract for the helicopters and their associated mission equipment package on November 4.
The additional Lakotas will be delivered to the 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment, at Cairns Army Airfield, Fort Rucker, Alabama, where they will be used for initial entry rotary-wing training. Deliveries will commence in August 2017.
More than 50 of the type have already been delivered to Fort Rucker in readiness for the UH-72A’s formal introduction into the training curriculum by early 2016. The US Army ultimately plans to have an initial entry rotary-wing training fleet of 187 Lakotas. These will comprise 100 new production deliveries, together with 87 already in-service helicopters that will be transferred from other units and reconfigured for the training mission. They are replacing the Bell TH-67 Creek in this role at Fort Rucker.
Airbus Helicopters has to date delivered 338 UH-72As to the US Army from its final assembly plant in Columbus, Mississippi. A further 74 Lakotas remain to be delivered to the US Army under current contracts. In addition, five of the type have been delivered to the US Naval Test Pilot School and six to the Royal Thai Army. Alan Warnes