Airbus delivers Lakota UH-72B to U.S. Army
By Naomi Szeben
Airbus Helicopters delivered its latest Lakota helicopter, the UH-72B, to the U.S. Army National Guard.
This delivery is the first of this series of Lakota helicopters currently on order to support the National Guard’s critical missions.
The UH-72B is the most recent iteration of the commercial, off-the-shelf aircraft that has been the Army’s Light Utility Helicopter since the first Lakota contract award in 2006. Airbus explains the Army is leveraging the benefits of a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) program by receiving product improvements and enhancements through the evolution of the aircraft, without investing any government money into the development of those capabilities.
Based on the H145, Airbus explains the UH-72B incorporates technologies that increase both safety and flight performance, including the five-bladed main rotor, the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, Safran Arriel 2E engines, and the Airbus-designed Helionix avionics suite. The Helionix suite includes an advanced dual-duplex, four-axis autopilot to provide flight envelope and over-limit protection, automated takeoff, and fully-coupled approaches to hover.
With nearly 10 different configurations available, the Lakota delivers proven performance, outstanding operational reliability, and unmatched versatility for a broad spectrum of military missions. Airbus Helicopters builds the Lakota at its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, which employs a workforce of nearly 250 employees that is made up of 40 per cent U.S. veterans.