Airbus Helicopters has used the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) trade show in Washington DC to announce that the service’s UH-72 LAKOTA fleet has passed the one million flight hours milestone. The first LAKOTA helicopter was delivered to the US Army in 2006, the same year that the UH-72A was competitively selected as its new light utility helicopter. 463 of this initial LAKOTA model, which primarily serves as the US Army’s initial entry rotary-wing training helicopter, have subsequently been delivered.
Earlier this year, the Army introduced the first UH-72B LAKOTA to its National Guard fleet, the first delivery of an order placed in 2020 for 18 of the newest LAKOTA variant. The UH-72B is based on the H145, which incorporates various product enhancements that have been developed during the lifecycle of the commercial aircraft, including:
- the FENESTRON tail rotor
- more powerful engines
- enhanced controls
- the HELIONIX avionics suite