Lakota program on schedule

Jan. 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 12 (UPI) -- EADS North America says its program to supply Lakota light utility helicopters to the U.S. military remains within budget and on schedule.

"We're extremely proud of our track record of on-time and on-budget deliveries of the UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army, Navy and Army National Guard," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America's chief executive officer.

"The successful execution of this critical program is a result of the strong partnership we've built with the Department of Defense over the past seven years."

A total of 198 UH-72a Lakota's have been delivered to the U.S. Army and five to the U.S. Navy. The program of record -- worth $212.7 million -- is for a total of 345 aircraft to be delivered through 2015.

The Lakota is a twin-engine aircraft with a cruise speed of 153 mph and a service ceiling of 18,000 feet. It's manufactured at EADS North America's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.

For active Army units, the aircraft will replace the UH-60 Black Hawk. The Army National Guard will use the Lakota as a replacement for OH-58 and UH-1 helicopters.

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