The US Army has awarded a follow-on contractor logistics support (CLS) contract to Airbus to support its UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota fleet.

The CLS contract is expected to be valued at over $1.5bn and includes a six-month base performance period, as well as 4.5 optional years.

As part of the five-year deal, the aerospace giant will supply the Army’s 482 utility and training helicopters with spare parts, material, and engineering support.

US Army utility project manager colonel Calvin Lane said: “Airbus has provided exceptional product and support services in UH-72A for nearly two decades.

“This contract underscores the Army’s trust in the aircraft’s capabilities, and we look forward to the continued support this contract provides to the UH-72 fleet.”

The company is expected to deliver its services at 67 Lakota sites located across the US and abroad, including National Guard bases.

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The UH-72A is a multi-mission helicopter that is mainly used for logistics and support missions within the US. It is also used for homeland security and disaster response activities.

The UH-72B is the latest variant of the Lakota helicopter. This version is equipped with several modifications and technologies to improve both safety and flight performance.

It is manufactured at Airbus’ facility in Columbus, Mississippi, and logistics are managed from the Dallas facility in Texas, US.

Airbus US Space & Defense will handle the CLS contract, which is the company’s largest helicopter performance-based support contract.

In October 2021, Airbus announced that its UH-72 Lakota fleet surpassed the one million flight-hour mark.

The milestone was achieved 15 years after the first Lakota UH-72A entered service with the US Army.

Earlier this year, Airbus Helicopters won a contract to upgrade Tiger attack helicopters for France and Spain.