LUH Program Win Lands Eurocopter in US Defense Market

In 2006, while the rest of EADS was targeted for divestment and beginning to face bottom line issues, Eurocopter continued to fly. Fresh off of major wins with Korea’s KHP development program ($1.3 billion) and Australia’s NH90 order ($1.5 bilion), in June 2006 Eurocopter racked up the biggest win of all: its EC145 will serve as the USA’s future Light Utility Helicopter, replacing existing UH-1s and OH-58s in a 345 helicopter, $3+ billion program between 2006-2015. Losing entries included Team MD Helicopters’ 902 Explorer NOTAR design, Bell-Textron’s 412EP Twin Huey, and Team AugustaWestland’s AB139. See DID coverage of the 4 competing teams.
Eurocopter’s LUH first carried the designation UH-145, before being renamed UH-72A Lakota at a December 2006 naming ceremony. This marks the first major US military program awarded to an EADS company; as such, it represents a breakthrough for both Eurocopter and its EADS parent. It would be followed by a much bigger breakthrough in the KC-X competition, a win whose path was paved in many ways by the UH-72’s success.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This is DID’s FOCUS Article regarding the LUH program, covering the program and its objectives, the winning bid team and industrial arrangements, and contracts. The latest additions include a visit to the Lakota tribe, a step toward full assembly in America, and the year 4 LUH order from the Army…


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