Four UH-72A Lakotas have arrived for a second long-haul international deployment at the US Army’s missile test site on Kwajalein Atoll.
The UH-72A is a defence acquisition category (ACAT) I programme for the US Defense Department.
EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe said the deployment would demonstrate UH-72A’s capabilities to perform a range of missions, contribute to national security and support critical warfighter readiness.
The Lakotas are equipped with skid-mounted floats with integrated life rafts and jettisonable cockpit doors. They will replace the UH-1 helicopters.
They will be used for transport and support missions at the army’s Ronald Reagan ballistic missile defence test site.
UH-72As are also used for missions that include medical evacuation, search and rescue, drug interdiction, VIP transport and general aviation support.
The US Army utility helicopter project manager Col L Neil Thurgood said the Lakota could support tactical operations in remote locations such as the Kwajalein Atoll due to its superior reliability, maintainability and operational availability rate.
The US Army plans to acquire 345 UH-72As by 2016.