This is the newest helicopter in the arsenal of the United States Army, the UH-72 Lakota.
Built by the American Eurocopter division of EADS North America. The planned order for the Army is for 350 aircraft which will be manufactured in Columbus , Mississippi. The Lakota is set to replace the aging UH-1H Hueys as the primary light utility helicopter. The Army continued its long tradition of naming its helicopters after Native American tribes. The UH-72 was designed to accomplish a wide variety of missions, from Medevac to counter narcotics to resupply. A large number of aircraft purchased will be for the Army National Guard units and for the Department of Homeland Defense. Smaller numbers of Lakotas have been obtained by the Navy, the United States Military Academy and the armed forces of Malta.
In the near future, an armed version of the Lakota may to replace the Army's OH-58D Kiowa scout helicopters. The evaluation is to occur sometime in 2010. The UH-72 is being procured as a commercial off the shelf unit (COTS) which will simplify the procurement process. EADS North America has entered into an agreement with Sikorsky to provide logistics support.
- Crew: 2 pilots
- Capacity: 8 troops or 2 stretchers and medical crew
- Length: 42 ft 7 in (13.03 m)
- Rotor diameter: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
- Height: 11 ft 9 in (3.45 m)
- Disc area: 1,023 ft² (94.98 m²)
- Empty weight: 3,950 lb (1,792 kg)
- Useful load: 3,953 lb (1,793 kg)
- Max Takeoff weight: 7,903 lb (3,385kg)
- Powerplant: 2× Turbomeca Arriel IE2 turboshafts, 738 shp (551 kW) each
- Maximum speed 145 knots (167 MPH, 269 KPH)
- Range: 370 nautical miles (426 miles, 685 km)
- Service ceiling: 18,000 feet (5,791m)