Eurocopter, September 26, 2012 - HERNDON, Va. - EADS North America has begun its voluntary flight demonstration (VFD) for the Army’s Armed Aerial Scout helicopter program, flying two aircraft at a high-altitude test site for a series of demonstrations that will showcase the superior performance of the company’s AAS-72X+ offering.
The AAS-72X+, an armed derivative of the Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, will be manufactured by the company’s American Eurocopter business unit in Columbus, Miss. Lockheed Martin provides the mission computer and integrates the mission equipment.
“We welcome this opportunity to prove the superior capabilities of our offering for the Army’s Armed Aerial Scout, and we’re ready to move forward into a competition,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. “A competition will ensure the Army gets the combat capability it badly needs at an affordable cost, with the program performance that is a must in today’s acquisition environment.”
The AAS-72X+ is cost-competitive with the upgrades planned for the Vietnam-era OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, and could be fielded with Army units as early as 2016. The aircraft would be built in the same facility as the Army’s UH-72A Lakota, 240 of which have been delivered by EADS North America – all on time and on cost.
EADS North America has previously developed, tested and flown three AAS-72X Technical Demonstrator Aircraft (TDA) using the company’s own research and development investment. Over the next two weeks, company pilots will be flying the VFD with one AAS-72X, as well as an EC145 T2 helicopter that demonstrates the performance enhancements offered in the AAS-72X+ configuration.
The EC145 T2 shares the same basic airframe as the UH-72A and AAS-72X, but incorporates the more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines with dual channel FADEC, a Fenestron anti-torque system, an upgraded transmission, the Helionix glass cockpit and avionics suite, and a 4-axis autopilot system.
These elements of the AAS-72X+ will offer the Army greater power, range, endurance and payload capacity when operating in 6,000 foot altitude and 95 degree environments, commonly known as “6K/95 high/hot” conditions — the most demanding environment for rotary-wing operations.
About American Eurocopter: American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer that produces, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer in the United States. The company is a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, and is an affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world. American Eurocopter’s product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facilities are located in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss., that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program.
About Lockheed Martin: Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.