The US Army is looking to acquire a further 35 Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota training and support platforms to add to the more than 400 already delivered.
A request for information (RFI) posted by the service on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website in early January asks for sources that could provide the additional civil variant EC145 helicopters. Interested parties have until 11 January to respond.
The disclosure that the US Army is looking to buy new Lakotas comes about 11 years after the type was selected to free-up frontline types such as the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and to enable the phasing out of older types such as the Bell UH-1 ‘Huey’ and OH-58A Kiowa Warrior. The Lakota comes in seven configurations for missions including training, border security, search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, VIP transport, and range support.
The first of about 412 Lakotas currently contracted was delivered to the army in October 2008. A Pentagon study has found that modifications to the fleet to make them suitable for use in combat environments are “presently unaffordable” and would add weight that “would significantly decrease aircraft performance”.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihs.com/contact