"EADS North America completes deliveries of the initial 8 light utility helicopters to the U.S. army
EADS North America has delivered its eighth UH-72A Lakota to the U.S. Army, completing the initial phase of a multi-billion dollar contract awarded the company last year for up to 322 Light Utility Helicopters.
As with the initial six UH-72As, the two newest Lakotas were delivered ahead of schedule – underscoring EADS North America’s commitment to this important Army acquisition program."
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DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6420 times:
I think it's one of the best procurement decisions they've made in a while. For the purpose that they're being ordered it's the right airplane at the right time. They're not combat helos, but they're just fine for SAR and stateside medevac, as well as liaison/LUH missions here.
The Hueys....all praise Bell....has been in need of replacement for years. Some of those old birds still in the inventory have battle damage from Vietnam.
Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1): Hope they got tribal permission to use that. Otherwise they could get siouxed!
STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16555 posts, RR: 52 Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6160 times:
I hope the 322 are enough to address the needs of the Army National Guard, these should replace all the remaining Hueys and bring all Guard Units up to full strength. If not order more, the Army National Guard's Equipment shortage is something I'm concerned about as more attention is put towards operations overseas.
Par13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6481 posts, RR: 8 Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6146 times:
I still do not understand how you can curtail defense spending by purchasing an a/c which cannot go into combat. I agree that the Army needs more Blackhawks due to their high useage in the current conflicts, so they are being "stripped" from their home civilian use, just don't understand why more are not being purchased. The Blackhawk is being upgraded as we speak, and if for whatever reason, its not politically correct to purchase more in bulk, at least get another a/c which will have the ability to be deployed without major updates / upgrades.
Regardless of what is said now in the PR campaign, these a/c will be deployed in combat areas, you can bet on that. The Kiowa's are a similar class a/c, and we see where they are, overloaded and underpowered when military equipment is added. To go off thread, its the reason why I like the Chinook as the choice for the SAR helo, lots of extra power already built in.
On the plus side, its good to see a military purchase being delivered ahead of time and on budget.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6136 times:
Quoting Par13del (Reply 8): I still do not understand how you can curtail defense spending by purchasing an a/c which cannot go into combat.
There are hundreds of helicopters in the US Army and National Guard that are exclusively used in MEDEVAC, SAR and liaison roles stateside. For over twenty years we've been using Hueys in those roles, or UH-60s. Since we have been phasing out the ancient Hueys and the Blackhawks are needed overseas and with combat units, we are finding it less expensive to procure a lower cost, but capable-of-the-mission machine, to the non-combat helicopter roles that the USA and USANG have been assigned.
This leaves us enough money to procure the bigger combat helos for the combat units at full strength, instead of having stripped out NG units trying to share 5 OH-58s each or MEDEVAC units that are flying UH-1Hs with beer can patches covering VC rifle holes.
Par13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6481 posts, RR: 8 Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6131 times:
DL021 thanks for the reply, guess what I was getting at is that the Huey's and Blackhawks were originally designed as military a/c, those being removed from the EVAC missions and sent to combat duty do not require much conversion if any as they were originally designed for combat operations, just not special forces duties etc.
The strength of this concept is that the Army is now able to increase its deployment of a/c by just switching their roles, this will no longer be a case with the new Lakota's, however, I believe they will still go, when an a/c is needed you use what you have, hopefully, you will not hear the "congressional" types talking about sending troops into combat with a/c not designed for the mission, but will instead hear them saying lets fund the purchase of these combat specific a/c, would be the best of both worlds.
PS. Thought the Marines still had a few of those Huey's deployed recently, my pics may have been mixed up.
Echster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 398 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6106 times:
Have no doubts. The US government will be purchasing or paying for upgraded UH-60s for a long time. It is an absolute beast that has become the workhorse of the US Army.
Just a few reasons, without going into detail, for the Lakota over the Blackhawk:
1. Reorganized Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB) Army-wide. The General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB) requires more H-60s than the preceding assault battalions.
2. Cost. Much cheaper to buy and field new-build Lakotas versus new-build H-60s. They are also going to be cheaper to maintain.
3. Mission. The Lakota is more suited to stateside, non-tactical missions. The H-60 is too much helicopter for this mission. To give an example, it's like placing AH-64s in the 160th SOAR. Sure, it's a fine aircraft but the AH-6 is plenty for the mission.
4. Fielding. Units now share the aircraft they have. They'll be able to have a full accompaniment of Lakotas.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5986 times:
Quoting Par13del (Reply 10): hopefully, you will not hear the "congressional" types talking about sending troops into combat with a/c not designed for the mission, but will instead hear them saying lets fund the purchase of these combat specific a/c, would be the best of both worlds.
I hope that won't happen. They'll hear about if they try it.
Quoting Par13del (Reply 10): Thought the Marines still had a few of those Huey's deployed recently, my pics may have been mixed up.
The Marines chose to upgrade their Hueys to the twin engined models and they use them mostly off of ships at sea level and they perform adequately as liaison or FAC aircraft. They can even be armed and used to transport smaller numbers of troops in a pinch.
They don't substitute for proper troop carriers (in the combined MEU aviation combat element you'll find only a couple of Hueys while you'll find over a dozen CH-46's and at least 4 or 5 CH-53s with anywhere between 4 and 10 AH-1W/Z.
THose Hueys in the Navy/USMC are newer build and more powerful. Even at that they are limited in their utility. Within their means they're ok....