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EADS North America to develop three AAS-72X helicopters

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AAS-72X, a variant of the UH-72 Lakota that EADS and Lockheed Martin. An EADS Photo.

VIRGINIA (BNS): EADS North America, American Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin will independently fund and develop three AAS-72X helicopters to demonstrate the performance, capabilities and maturity of this rotary-wing aircraft for the U.S. Army’s Armed Aerial Scout mission.

"These aircraft will ensure the AAS-72X provides a fully capable, compliant Armed Aerial Scout solution for America’s warfighters at the earliest possible date," said EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe, according to an EADS North America news release.

As a highly capable helicopter for the Armed Aerial Scout mission, the AAS-72X combines twin-engine safety, high and hot operating performance and a large cabin for true multi-role capability. The AAS-72X is derived from the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, offering a low-risk evolution of the U.S. Army’s newest rotary-wing aircraft.

The first AAS-72X Technical Demonstration Aircraft (TDA) will be operational in late 2010, and will be used for mission equipment and weapon system integration, performance testing and survivability validations, as per the report.

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