HERNDON, VA--(Marketwire - Oct 22, 2012) - EADS North America has concluded a national demonstration tour that allowed Army aviators to experience the capabilities of the company's AAS-72X+ Armed Aerial Scout helicopter offering. The AAS-72X+, an armed derivative of the Army's highly successful UH-72A Lakota, is on display this week at the Association of the U.S. Army annual exposition in Washington, D.C.
The AAS-72X+ will be manufactured by the company's American Eurocopter business unit in Columbus, Miss., on the same hot production line that has delivered 240 Lakotas on time and on budget. Lockheed Martin provides the mission computer and integrates the mission equipment.
From Oct. 9 to 19, company officials provided flight time in a representative aircraft to pilots from the Army's Armed Aerial Scout community at Fort Riley, Kan., Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Bragg, N.C.
"We want the warfighters who know first-hand how demanding the Armed Aerial Scout mission is to experience the difference in performance that the AAS-72X+ offers," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.
The national demo tour followed on the heels of a highly successful Voluntary Flight Demonstration (VFD) EADS North America conducted for Army evaluators in the mountains of Colorado in late September and early October. The VFD was part of the service's effort to assess potential replacements for the OH-58 Kiowa, which was first fielded more than four decades ago.
"It's time for a competition," O'Keefe said. "We've proven that we have an affordable, low-risk solution that can close the operational gap between the demands of the Armed Aerial Scout mission and the limited capabilities of the current single-engine, Vietnam-era aircraft."
EADS North America chose to fly its VFD in the mountains to showcase the exceptional performance of the AAS-72X+ offering at the higher altitudes that are most demanding for helicopters. Routinely flying missions between 10,000 and 14,000 feet, pilots met or exceeded Army helicopter performance and handling standards normally assessed at sea level.
The AAS-72X+, which is cost-competitive with the upgrades planned for the OH-58, could be fielded with Army units as early as 2016.
Learn more at www.aas72x.com.
About American Eurocopter (www.eurocopterusa.com)
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 EADS North America (www.eadsnorthamerica.com)
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
About EADS (www.eads.com)
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2011, the Group -- comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter -- generated revenues of EUR 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.
About Lockheed Martin (www.lockheedmartin.com)
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.