Fielding of LUH Helicopter to ARNG

Tuesday June 17, 2008

What is it?

The UH-72A, Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is a state- of- the- art aircraft with twin engine reliability, a 21st century navigation/communication system, and a proven record of commercial aviation service.

What has the Army done?

The Army restructured aviation organizations to reflect current and anticipated needs. The Army developed the UH-72 Lakota to meet immediate and future light utility aviation needs. In the past 18 months, the active Army has fielded 24 Lakotas and flown more than 3,400 hours with an operational availability rate exceeding 92 percent. On June 7, 2008, the first Army National Guard (ARNG) UH-72A was fielded to the Mississippi National Guard at a fielding ceremony, at the Tupelo Regional Airport, Tupelo, Miss.

What continuing efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army will field 12 UH-72As to the National Guard in FY08, with a total of 200 new UH-72s to be fielded to the National Guard by FY17. As the Army transforms its aviation fleet, the requirement for a light utility helicopter remains. The LUH is intended to replace the Vietnam-era UH-1H and OH-58A/C aircraft. The LUH will fill the niche missions in which the UH-60 capability may be less than optimal. It is designed to operate in a hot environment and in standard mission configuration is capable of a minimum of 2.8 hours of operation with a 30-minute reserve without the use of auxiliary fuel. The internal cabin size of the LUH accommodates the loading, unloading, and transport of a pilot, co-pilot, and no less than two NATO standard litters with patients, one medical attendant with equipment, and one additional passenger. The aircraft accommodates the seating and transport of a pilot, co-pilot and six passengers when not in the medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) configuration. The LUH is supportable and maintainable within the current aviation force structure.

Why is this important to the Army?

The UH-72A will provide the ARNG an operational capability for focused logistics and full-dimensional protection as they relate to homeland security and support operations in permissive environments. The LUH will provide the flexibility to respond to terrorism, conduct civil search and rescue, support damage assessment, perform MEDEVAC, and provide support to counterdrug operations. The LUH is expected to conduct basic light utility helicopter missions and execute tasks as part of an integrated effort with other joint services, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, LUH will free-up the UH-60s to return to warfighting units.

Resources:

U.S. Army Web Site: National Guard gets first Lakota Helicopters

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

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WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

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  • Related to Today's Focus topic: The U.S. National Guard got its first two UH-72A "Lakota" Helicopters (RM)
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WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"Our goal is to provide accessible education for everyone. We have started the ball rolling, and the Iraqi government will keep it going in the future."

- Capt. Trista Mustaine, education advisor to a provincial reconstruction team in Baghdad

Teachers prepare to return to southern Baghdad schools

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