Lakota Light Utility Helicopter
What is it? The Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (UH-72A) is the Army's newest aircraft. It is a light, commercially procured aircraft designed to perform a variety of missions in permissive environments. The Lakota will provide the flexibility to respond to Homeland Security (HLS) requirements, conduct civil search and rescue operations, support damage assessment, support test and training centers, perform generating force missions, augment the HH-60 Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) aircraft, border security operations, and provide support to CONUS counter drug operations. The light utility helicopter (LUH) will conduct General Support (GS) utility helicopter missions and execute tasks as part of an integrated effort with other joint services, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
The Lakota is designed to transport six Soldiers plus its crew (two pilots, along with six passengers). Additional configurations include the capability of carrying two NATO litters with patients and one medical attendant. Additionally, the aircraft will have a hoist for use in emergency evacuations. The Army intends to procure and field a total of 322 Lakota's beginning in Fiscal Year 2006 and ending in 2015. The estimated total cost of the LUH program is approximately $5.0 billion.
What has the Army done? The Army continues to rapidly and efficiently modernize its aviation fleet. The Lakota is one of several aircraft including the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, the UH 60 M, and the CH-47 F being added to the Army aviation inventory with funds previously designated for the canceled Comanche helicopter.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? Army aviation will continue to modernize as it works closely with other services now and well into the future. Source selection for the new Joint Cargo Aircraft is currently projected for early 2007. Once that is complete, it will mark the last of the new start programs to be put under contract and will mark the fulfillment of the Army's promise to modernize its aviation fleet with funds from Comanche termination.
Why is this important to the Army? The addition of these aircraft to the Army aviation inventory will strengthen the National Guard's ability to support Homeland Security missions while allowing UH-60 Black Hawks to be cascaded to tactical units for use in combat if needed.
- This topic was taken directly from the 2007 Army Posture Statement.
- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Be Army Strong, and Army Smart. Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communications Guide.