ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- EADS North America has received a U.S. Army contract to equip UH-72A Lakotas for National Guard security and support battalion missions.
The contract for mission equipment packages is worth $67 million and is the first phase of a larger contract with a total estimated value of about $152 million.
"This contract underscores EADS North America's ability to integrate complex mission systems that meet our warfighters' needs," said EADS North America Chairman Ralph D. Crosby, Jr. "It also marks a new milestone in the evolution of the UH-72A, as this capable helicopter is given increasingly diverse operational duties with the U.S. Army.
"Supporting the S&S mission is further evidence of our industry team's commitment to delivering state-of-the art products that enable the Army to meet today's demanding missions."
The company said the MEPs would be built at its facility in Mississippi and outfitted on UH-72As deployed throughout the United States.
The packages expand the Lakota's use in reconnaissance, border protection, command and control and air movement operations that support U.S. homeland defense and security missions.
Deliveries of UH-72As with the S&S Battalion Mission Equipment Package are to begin next year. The contract covers EADS North America's supply of an initial 36 MEPs, with the U.S. Army expected to ultimately acquire systems to outfit 99 Lakota helicopters.
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.