UH-72 Lakota

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Product Type:

Light Utility Helicopter

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

In Full Rate Production (FRP)

Prime Contractor:

Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
(formerly American Eurocopter)

The U.S. Army's UH-72 Lakota

About the UH-72 Lakota:

The Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is a twin-engine U.S. Army multi-role utility helicopter. The Lakota is the military version of the EC145 (in production since 2002), which is used worldwide for law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, search and rescue, offshore operations, and as corporate transport.

The UH-72 provides reliable and sustainable general and administrative support in permissive environments at reduced acquisition and operating costs. According to EADS North America, the UH-72 is 30-50% less costly to operate than the UH-60 Black Hawk. The Lakota is one of the most versatile and functional helicopters in its weight class. The easily reconfigurable main cabin of the Lakota maximizes mission flexibility, while the sliding side and rear clamshell doors provide easy access to the main cabin and enable effective utilization of available space.

The UH-72 is powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL 1E2 turboshaft engines delivering up to 738 shp each. With a maximum takeoff weight of 7,903 pounds, it carries a useful load of 3,953 pounds and has a maximum cruise speed of 167 mph (269 km/h).

On June 30, 2006, the U.S. Army selected the UH-145 (later designated UH-72A) for its Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program. Deliveries commenced in December 2006. The Army has a total procurement objective of 315 aircraft. The first operational unit was equipped on June 19, 2007 (within 7 year of contract award), making the UH-72 one of the most rapid aircraft introductions in the history of the Army. The UH-72 will replace the UH-1N Huey and the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior. Full Rate Production (FRP) of the UH-72A was approved by the Army on September 4, 2007.

As of March 31, 2013, 255 UH-72As had been delivered. 54 aircraft have been equipped with the Engine Inlet Barrier Filter (EIBF), 78 aircraft have the MEDEVAC mission kit, 92 aircraft have been outfitted with Environmental Control Units (ECU), 229 aircraft have been equipped with secure communications, and 12 aircraft have been equipped with the Very Important Personnel (VIP) package. In October 2013, EADS North America (now Airbus Group) announced it had delivered 284 Lakotas and that 150,000 flight hours had now been accumulated. On May 14, 2014, Airbus Group delivered the 300th UH-72A Lakota helicopter. The Lakota fleet has recently surpassed the 200,000 flight hour mark.

The manufacturing of the UH-72 is the responsibility of American Eurocopter, a business unit of EADS North America. Production takes place at the company's Columbus, Mississippi facility and averages three to four helicopters per month. Other members of the UH-72A production team include Aerolite, Armor Holdings/Simula, BAE Systems, CAE, Goodrich Corporation (now United Technologies), Keith Products, L3 Technologies, Labarge, Luminator, NORDAM Group, Sagem Avionics, Sikorsky - United Technologies (provides Contractor Logistics Support), Thales North America, Turbomeca USA, Whelen, and Wulfsberg Electronics.

On November 13, 2012, EADS North America announced it had received a $181.8 million U.S. Army contract to deliver 34 UH-72As.



UH-72 Production Forecast:

A 15-year UH-72 production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year UH-72 production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Rotorcraft Forecast service.


The UH-72 Light Utility Helicopter will provide organic general support at corps and division levels. The primary mission for the LUH is to provide aerial transport for logistical and administrative support.

FY 2020 & FY 2021 - UH-72 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and EADS North America (Airbus Group).

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Rotorcraft Forecast:

Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Rotorcraft Forecast.

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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