EADS to build three Armed Aerial Scout 72X demonstrators
EADS North America announced today that it will develop three AAS-72X helicopters to demonstrate the performance, capabilities and maturity of this rotary-wing aircraft for the U.S. Army’s Armed Aerial Scout mission.
The money will be provided by the company an its team members American Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin. The first AAS-72X Technical Demonstration Aircraft (TDA) will be operational in late 2010, and will be used for mission equipment and weapon system integration, performance testing and survivability validations.
“This commitment is a significant investment and continues our entrepreneurial approach to meeting our customers’ demanding needs. These aircraft will ensure the AAS-72X provides a fully capable, compliant Armed Aerial Scout solution for America’s warfighters at the earliest possible date,” said EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe.
The AAS-72X is derived from the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, itself a version of the civil EC145, which is going back to the BK 117 of the 1970s. Production of the AAS-72X would take place at the Columbus, Miss., works of American Eurocopter.