NASHVILLE, Tenn., 3 April 2012. EADS North America in Herndon, Va., introduced a special version of its Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter this week that is adapted for the U.S. Army's Armed Scout helicopter requirement. EADS unveiled the new Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ (AAS-72X+) helicopter at the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad-A) convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The AAS-72X+ would be manufactured by the EADS American Eurocopter business unit in Columbus, Miss. The AAS-72X+ helicopter builds on the three armed scout helicopter technical demonstrator aircraft (TDA) that EADS developed for a potential upcoming competition to build a new Army Armed Scout helicopter. Defense budget cuts may delay or cancel the Army's Armed Scout helicopter program.
EADS officials say their company could build the AAS-72X or AAS-72X+ at a cost competitive with the upgrades planned for the Vietnam-era OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and fielded to Army units as early as 2016. The Army is funding upgrades to the OH-58 to fulfill armed scout helicopter requirements at least temporarily.
The EADS UH-72 variant is based on the commercial EC-145T2 aircraft which incorporates the Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines with dual channel FADEC, a Fenestron tail rotor, an upgraded transmission, the Helionix glass cockpit and avionics suite, and a four-axis autopilot system.
These elements of the AAS-72X+ are designed for helicopter operations in 6,000-foot altitude and 95-degree temperatures, commonly known as “6K/95 high/hot” conditions -- the most demanding environment for rotary-wing operations, EADS officials say.
For more information contact American Eurocopter online at www.eurocopterusa.com.