The US Army has awarded a contract to EADS North America for the supply of mission equipment packages (MEP) on UH-72A Lakota light-utility helicopters used by the Army National Guard security and support (S&S) battalions.

Under the $67m package, the first phase of a total estimated contract value of $152m, EADS MEP will enhance the helicopters’ performance in missions that include reconnaissance, border protection, command and control, and air movement operations.

The contract also covers the supply of an initial 36 MEPs from EADS, and the US Army expects to equip a total of 99 Lakota helicopters with the system.

The US army has plans to acquire a total of 345 UH-72As through 2015, which will include the versions outfitted for operation by the S&S Battalions.

The deliveries of UH-72As with the S&S Battalion MEP are scheduled to begin in 2011.