Safran Electronics & Defense, Avionics USA has secured a logistics support contract for the US Army's fleet of UH-72A Lakota helicopters.
In December 2016, the army awarded a five-year contractor logistics support (CLS) services contract, worth more than $967m, to Airbus Helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters eventually contracted Safran Electronics & Defense, Avionics as a direct supplier in support of the Lakota fleet.
Safran is said to be the sole source provider of the autopilot system for the UH-72A aircraft.
Under the contract, Safran will provide support to Army National Guard bases in 43 US states, as well as Kwajalein, Guam, Puerto Rico and Germany.
A majority of the army's UH-72As are based at Fort Rucker, in Alabama, where the aircraft are used to provide initial entry rotary wing flight training for new pilots.
To date, the US Army has received 393 UH-72As, which are used in a variety of missions, including training, air medical transport, and search and rescue.
The Army National Guard units fly Lakotas in support of Customs and Border Protection operations on the Southwestern border. The Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, also operates five Lakotas.
The Lakota is a commercial-off-the-shelf twin-engine aircraft equipped with modern glass-cockpit, flight control, and navigation systems.
It is said to be the army’s lowest cost twin-engine helicopter to buy, own and operate, and has a mission availability rate of more than 90%.
Image: UH-72A Lakota is the US Army's initial-entry training helicopter at Fort Rucker. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Helicopters.