HERNDON, Va., April 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. subsidiary of EADS, the European aerospace and defense conglomerate, expressed disappointment over a proposed U.S. Army cut in helicopter buys.
The proposed cut would bring the number of UH-72A Lakota helicopters left to be procured to 10 from 41.
The Lakota, a product of EADS subsidiary Eurocopter, is manufactured for the U.S. military in Mississippi. EADS North America said 249 aircraft for the Army and National Guard, and an additional five for the U.S. Navy, have been delivered on budget and on or ahead of schedule.
"During times of budgetary pressure, an extremely successful program like the Lakota -- with its demonstrated low cost and unbroken record of on-time and on-cost deliveries -- ought to be the last program slated for reduction," said Sean O'Keefe, chief executive officer of EADS North America.
"Much of the unprecedented success of Lakota comes from the fact that over half of the workforce are U.S. military veterans. These dedicated men and women help all members of the Lakota team remember who we are working for and why.
"Their military service underpins and is reflected in our deep personal commitment to the Lakota program," he said. "Accordingly, we intend to fight for the opportunity to deliver the full program complement of Lakota helicopters to our men and women in uniform."