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US Army awards EADS $152 million contract to equip UH-72A Lakotas

UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA (BNS): The US Army has awarded EADS North America a $67 million contract for the supply of Mission Equipment Packages (MEP) on UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters.

The contract is the first phase of a total contract value estimated to be approximately $152 million.

The packages expand the Lakota’s use in reconnaissance, border protection, command and control and air movement operations that support US homeland defense and security missions.

Deliveries of UH-72As with the S&S Battalion Mission Equipment Package are scheduled to begin in 2011. The contract announced Monday covers EADS North America’s supply of an initial 36 MEPs, with the US Army expected to ultimately acquire systems to outfit a total of 99 Lakota helicopters.

The Lakota helicopters will be operated by Army National Guard Security and Support Battalions (S&S Battalions). These units currently operate aging Vietnam-era rotary-wing aircraft, which will be replaced by the UH-72A.

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.

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