Airbus Helicopters recently hosted a ceremony with leaders of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), to commemorate the UH-72A Lakota’s 10th anniversary at Naval Air Station (NAS), Patuxent River, Maryland, where I am proud to share, my son, Derek Frabizio, CASS/RTCASS/eCASS Ancillary Equipment Manager, NAVAIR, is currently stationed.
Airbus Helicopters established the Lakota program at the USNTPS in July 2009, and over the past ten years, the Lakota fleet has consistently exceeded operational availability targets and continues to provide high levels of mission readiness with availability rates averaging nearly 94 percent.
“This is quite a milestone for the Lakota program. Experimental test pilots need a reliable and versatile aircraft as they are often flying an aircraft at the edge of its performance envelope, and we’re confident that we have provided the best value over the last ten years for this requirement,” explained Scott Tumpak, Airbus Helicopters Vice President of Military Programs.
(Hear directly from Scott Tumpak, VP of military programs at Airbus Helicopters, as he discusses the company’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter, 400 of which have been delivered to the US Army, proposed upgrades to the aircraft and Army Aviation needs with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian, during the Army Aviation Association of America’s 2019 conference and tradeshow in Nashville, TN. Courtesy of Defense & Aerospace Report and YouTube. Posted on May 5, 2019.)
The UH-72A Lakota is a version of the highly successful EC145 twin-engine rotorcraft used by U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and many other military units worldwide.
Globally, there are 1,345 H145 helicopters in service, amassing over 5.5 million flight hours, and Airbus has delivered over 430 Lakota aircraft to the United States Army.
(Learn More. As an international reference in the aerospace sector, Airbus designs, manufactures and delivers industry-leading commercial jetliners, helicopters and military transports. Aircraft from across these product lines took to the skies for a 2019 formation flight in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary. Courtesy of Airbus and YouTube. Posted on Jun 15, 2019.)
“From our experience delivering sophisticated and proven capabilities, we offer the Navy the most cost-effective and reliable aircraft from over 50 years of expertise, customer satisfaction, innovation and technology,” added Tumpak.
“That is the foundation of our leadership position in delivering rotary- wing training capabilities today.”
Airbus has a vested interest in delivering these effective training systems for Department of Defense rotary-wing aviators.
Recently, Airbus offered its H135 as its proposal for the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS), soon to be known as the TH-73A.
The H135 will enhance the U.S. Navy’s rotary-wing training curriculum, with this technically mature, FAA IFR-certified twin-engine aircraft.
Similar to the UH-72A, the H135 has a storied performance history with an accumulation of more than 5 million flight hours, and is currently used in 11 military training helicopter programs by our nation’s closest allies.
The H135 is poised to provide the Navy with a best-in-class pilot training capability most similar to the aircraft future aviators will fly in operational missions.
Currently, Airbus has 675 aircraft in operations by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.
The UH-72A Lakota is built in Columbus, Mississippi, the same location where Airbus has manufactured over 555 helicopters for the U.S. Government, employing a workforce of over 40% military veterans, who continue Airbus’ 50-year tradition of manufacturing helicopters in the U.S.
(Learn More. After years of legal wrangling, Airbus Helicopters, Inc. has finally received a contract from the U.S. Army for additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters.Courtesy of US military Technology and YouTube. Posted on Mar 13, 2018.)