UH-72A Lakota

Friday August 5, 2011

What is it?

The UH-72A Lakota is the newest helicopter to enter service with the U.S. Army. It is a variant of the Eurocopter EC-145 and is manufactured in Columbus, Miss. The Lakota performs light utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions for the Army and Army National Guard (ARNG) in permissive, non-hostile environments.

A contract was awarded to EADS North America in June 2006 for 345 of this versatile aircraft. As of July 31, 175 helicopters have been delivered with the ARNG operating over 80 aircrafts. The UH-72A is also unique in that it is a commercial/non-developmental item aircraft that is maintained and operated in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policies and procedures.

What has the Army done?

The Army, working with its industry partners, designed, integrated and tested the Security & Support (S&S) Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP), the newest variant of the LUH for the ARNG and is equipped with state-of-the-art advanced technologies such as an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red Sensor, searchlight, data display and collection systems and downlink capability. It will be used to conduct humanitarian and disaster relief efforts as well as other key missions such as border patrol and counter-drug enforcement surveillance across the U.S. and its territories. All equipment added to the UH-72A is commercially available and expedites the acquisition time.

Last fall the ARNG carried out various demonstration missions with the prototype aircraft, LUH #99, which includes surveillance, personnel insertion/extraction, patrol and high altitude rescue missions. The aircraft performed very well. Four aircraft are now being retrofitted with the MEP, and ultimately 100 UH-72A will be equipped with the first being fielded this fall.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The S&S MEP is only one of several enhancements that the product office is working on for the UH-72A. This includes improved medical equipment storage and protection for the aircraft to improve readiness and maintainability. There are also specialized electronic equipment such as an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) and Blue Force Tracker being added to the Lakota based on field needs.

Why is this important to the Army?

The UH-72A is replacing aging UH-1 and OH-58A/C aircraft that are a high cost to maintain and operate for these missions. It allowed the Army to return 23 UH-60 Black Hawk aircrafts to support critical wartime missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Lakota provides a significant improvement over the aircraft the ARNG were operating through better performance, availability and mission equipment. The addition of the S&S MEP and other kits will only enhance its abilities.

Resources:

Army's new Lakota packed with high-tech gear

STAND-TO! Army Aviation Aim Point

ABOUT THE ARMY

OVERSEAS OPERATIONS

OF INTEREST

WORLD VIEW

SPORTS

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

A Culture of Engagement

Social Media

Spotlight

2011 Spirit of America Performance Schedule

Walter Reed Medical Center Move

U.S. Army Rangers

Army Homefront Fund

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' website

Comprehensive Soldier Fitness

Army Energy News

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.

Senior Leaders are Saying

"We are in a very challenging fiscal environment and understand the impact these cuts will have on our civilians and their families. Tough choices have to be made, but we’ll make them in a thoughtful and deliberate manner that best supports the Army’s mission."

- Thomas R. Lamont, assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, on the Army's announcement on the reduction of the size of its civilian employee workforce by more than 8,700 people by Sept. 30, 2012

Army announces civilian reductions

What They're Saying

"We are providing mobility, counter-mobility (and) survivability to the infantry."

- Pfc. Nate Oncea, a combat engineer in Alpha Company, 3rd BSTB, speaks proudly of the Spartan mission in Afghanistan

Task Force Spartan combat engineers keep the roads safe with new technologies

STAND-TO!

STAND-TO! is an information paper-based web platform that supports the U.S. Army’s strategic communication objectives.

The information papers -- written, approved and submitted by the Army agencies -- provide a broad, objective view of the Army’s current operations, doctrine and programs. The "Today’s Focus" topics highlight Army Staff initiatives and support Army wide strategic-level issues.

All published editions are sent to subscribers via email and archived daily in the STAND-TO! Archives.

STAND-TO! falls under the management of the Online and Social Media Division (OSMD) in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs (OCPA).

Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.