Airbus has been awarded a $27.8 million contract by the U.S. Army to upgrade the Army National Guard Security & Support Battalion Mission Equipment Package (MEP). The upgrades will enhance the capabilities of the UH-72A Lakota helicopter, allowing it to conduct day and night operations more effectively. The enhancements include an advanced moving map, enhanced digital interfaces, new monitors, an airborne mission management system, and other system improvements.
Scott Tumpak, the Vice President of Military Line of Business for Airbus U.S. Space and Defense, stated that the upgrades will provide pilots with increased functionality and capability to carry out demanding missions. The improvements will further enhance the Lakota’s value as an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) asset for the National Guard.
The MEP equipped UH-72A Lakota helicopters are designed to fulfill various National Guard operations, including domestic operations, counter-drug missions, and border security. The contract awarded by the Army will retrofit up to 50 Security & Support Battalion aircraft currently deployed throughout the nation. Airbus’ Columbus, Mississippi helicopter production facility will handle the modifications. This facility has already delivered over 480 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota helicopters to the Army since 2006.
Under a Special Security Agreement, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense will manage the contract. This agreement ensures that the upgrading process is carried out securely and in compliance with all necessary regulations.
Overall, Airbus’ contract to upgrade the Army National Guard Mission Equipment Package reflects a commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the UH-72A Lakota helicopter, enabling it to effectively support critical missions carried out by the National Guard.
– UH-72A Lakota: A light utility helicopter used by the U.S. Army for various missions.
– Mission Equipment Package (MEP): A package of advanced equipment and systems used to enhance the capabilities of military aircraft.
– ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) asset: A military asset with the ability to gather intelligence, monitor activities, and conduct reconnaissance operations.
Scott Tumpak, Airbus