Airbus has been awarded a $27.8 million contract by the U.S. Army aimed at expanding the capabilities of the UH-72A Lakota twin-engine utility helicopter. Called the Army National Guard Security and Support Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP), the upgrades include an advanced moving map, enhanced digital interfaces, new monitors and an airborne mission management system. The contract covers retrofits for up to 50 aircraft of the 107 UH-72As in the Security and Support Battalion fleet.
“This award provides pilots with significantly increased functionality and capability to carry out today’s demanding missions, further enhancing the Lakota’s value as an ISR asset for the National Guard,” said Scott Tumpak, Airbus U.S. Space and Defense military line of business vice president.
According to Airbus, MEP equipped UH-72As are specifically designed for National Guard missions such domestic, counter-drug and border security operations. Modifications will be completed at the company’s production facility in Columbus, Mississippi. Airbus reports that it has delivered more than 480 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota helicopters to the Army since 2006.