EADS To Conduct Flight Demonstrations Of Its Armed AAS-72X Helicopter
By Steve Hall
April 19, 2011 - EADS North America this week is
conducting flight demonstrations of its company-funded
Armed Aerial Scout 72X (AAS-72X) helicopter at the
Nashville International Airport to coincide with a
nearby military aviation exposition.
The company and its industry team of American Eurocopter
and Lockheed Martin have made a significant investment
in the development of three AAS-72X Technical
Demonstrator Aircraft (TDA), which are being used to
conduct parallel development and risk reduction
activities, and to demonstrate the aircraft's increasing
level of capability and technical maturity.
The AAS-72X is based on the highly successful EC145 commercial helicopter platform. The AAS-72X demonstration aircraft is equipped with a Mission Equipment Package (MEP) that includes a chin-mounted turret with integrated targeting sensor, manned-unmanned teaming capability, communications suite and weapons.
"EADS North America and its Armed Scout team has achieved every
milestone we've set in developing a highly capable helicopter
that will meet the Army's armed aerial scout mission," said EADS
North America CEO Sean O'Keefe. "Bringing one of our three
technical demonstrator aircraft to Nashville enables Army
leadership and aviators to see and experience these
The Technical Demonstrator Aircraft made its first flight in
December 2010, and is being used to validate the AAS-72X's
ability to meet the U.S. Army's current armed aerial scout
The team also conducted a key transportability test when five
militarized EC145 aircraft were successfully loaded in a C-17
transport aircraft. Additionally, EADS North America and
Lockheed Martin established a System Integration Laboratory
(SIL) and hangar in April 2010 at Lockheed Martin's Orlando,
"Having a fully-capable laboratory enables high fidelity
integration and testing and results in the lowest-risk MEP
solution for the AAS-72X," said Bob Gunning, vice president of
Fire Control at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We
have made significant investments to ensure our state-of-the-art
MEP provides a best value, superior solution to meet the
warfighters' armed scout mission requirements."
A highly capable helicopter for the Armed Aerial Scout mission, the
AAS-72X combines twin-engine safety with the high/hot operating
performance critical to the Army's Armed Scout mission. The AAS-72X is
derived from the same family of aircraft as the UH-72A Lakota Light
Utility Helicopter. The result is a low-risk evolution of the U.S.
Army's newest rotary-wing aircraft, which is widely considered one of
the most successful acquisition programs in the service's history.
Production of the AAS-72X will take place at American Eurocopter's Columbus, Miss. helicopter center of excellence where the UH-72A Lakota is currently assembled for the U.S. Army. EADS North America has delivered more than 160 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army on time and within budget, along with five H-72A versions to the U.S. Navy for test pilot training.
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