Provides a flexible response to Homeland Security requirements such as search and rescue operations, reconnaissance and surveillance, and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.
The UH-72A LAKOTA Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) will conduct general support utility helicopter missions and execute tasks as part of an integrated effort with other Joint Services, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The LUH is to be deployed only to non-combat, non-hostile environments. The UH-72A is a variant of the American Eurocopter U.S.-produced EC-145.
The UH-72A is a twin-engine, single-main-rotor commercial helicopter. It has seating for two pilots and up to six passengers or two NATO standard litters. Two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 engines, combined with an advanced four-blade rotor system, provide lift and speed in a wide range of operating conditions. The LUH can be configured with two NATO standard litters, passenger seating for a medical attendant and a crew chief.
The UH-72A is equipped with modern communication and navigation avionics. It includes a 3-axis autopilot and single pilot Instrument Flight Rules capability. The cockpit is compatible with night vision devices. In addition to the MEDEVAC configuration, the UH-72A is also being fielded in a VIP, ARNG Security & Support (S&S) and Combined Training Center (CTC) configurations.
The United States Navy Test Pilot School ordered five UH-72A aircraft in 2008. These were fielded in early FY10 and support experimental pilot training at the school.
In 2011 The Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP) and the CTC MEP were added to the UH-72A fleet. The S&S MEP provides the National Guard to conduct Homeland Security, patrol and counter drug missions. One hundred UH-72A will be equipped with the MEP and fielded across the Continental United States to include Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The CTC MEP provides the ability to conduct Opposing Force and Observor/Controller missions to support training at the National Training Center, Joint Readiness Training Center and the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. Forty aircraft will be retrofitted with the MEP.
Source: U.S. Army
Photo courtesy: U.S. Army