Home Americas Airbus unveils newest UH-72B Lakota series for the US Army

Airbus unveils newest UH-72B Lakota series for the US Army

UH-72B Lakota helicopter
Photo: Airbus

Airbus Helicopters has introduced the newest series of its Lakota helicopter that will be delivered to the US Army National Guard in 2021.

Airbus has delivered more than 460 UH-72A Lakota helicopters to the US Army, Navy and National Guard, with the 463rd and final UH-72A model slated for delivery in September.

The new series that the company unveiled at the 2020 National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) virtual tradeshow is known as the UH-72B.

So far, 17 of the new series have been ordered.

“Since we first began operations with the UH-72 Lakota some 15 years ago, this helicopter has been the workhorse of the Army and National Guard, saving lives, assisting in disaster relief, training thousands of pilots, and, more importantly, helping to protect our communities and our country,” said COL Calvin Lane, US Army project manager for utility helicopters. “Procuring the UH-72B Lakota provides tremendous value with no research and development costs for the Army.”

The UH-72B is based on the H145, which incorporates various product improvements that have been developed during the lifecycle of the commercial aircraft. The Fenestron tail rotor, more powerful engines, enhanced controls and the Airbus Helionix avionics suite, will provide added benefits for mission safety and flight performance.

“This is welcome news for the men and women building the Lakota in Mississippi, as we expand our production capabilities and prepare for a successful future for the Lakota,” said Scott Tumpak, vice president responsible for Airbus military helicopter programs in the US. “Since 2006, every single Lakota has been delivered on time and on cost by our American workforce, whose pride of workmanship is evident in every aircraft we deliver.”

Airbus Helicopters, Inc. builds the Lakota at its production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. Since the program’s beginning in 2006, the Army and National Guard have amassed nearly 800,000 total flight hours. The UH-72A is the primary rotary-wing training aircraft for the Army, and serves in roles as diverse as search and rescue, disaster relief, counter-drug operations, and live-saving MEDEVAC flights.