ARLINGTON, VA: EADS North America has delivered the first of five H-72A training helicopters for the U.S. Navy today, marking a new milestone in the company’s production of multi-role helicopters for U.S. military services.
The H-72A fleet will be based at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., where it is to be used to train test pilots from the U.S. military and allied countries. The H-72A shares the same airframe and is manufactured on the same production line as the U.S. Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter — both of which are produced in Mississippi by EADS North America’s American Eurocopter subsidiary.
“Not only is this the first H-72A we’ve built for the U.S. Navy — it’s our first helicopter produced specifically to fulfill a training mission within the U.S. armed forces,” said EADS North America Chief Operating Officer Dave Oliver. “The expansion of UH-72A/H-72A missions demonstrates the adaptability of the aircraft to a wide range of operational scenarios. We’re certainly proud that a new generation of test pilots will be trained using these highly reliable and versatile helicopters.”
The Navy’s H-72As have several specific equipment additions for their pilot training mission — including jettisonable cockpit doors, a cockpit voice and flight data recorder, a main rotor blade folding kit and an air traffic advisory system. All five H-72As will be configured in the Naval Test Pilot School’s high-visibility white and orange paint scheme.
Derived from Eurocopter’s proven EC145 multi-role helicopter, the Navy H-72As and Army UH-72As are among the most versatile and reliable helicopters in their class. They are equipped with a modern glass cockpit, and their high-set main and tail rotors provide unparalleled safety, access and space utilization.
The Army plans to acquire 345 UH-72As through 2016 in addition to the five H-72As being acquired on behalf of the U.S. Navy.
In addition to the current production of H-72As and UH-72As, EADS North America is offering the Armed Scout 645 variant for the U.S. Army’s armed aerial scout requirement.
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace and defense. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.