EADS North America Unveils AAS-72X+ Combat Helicopter
EADS North America unveiled its Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ (AAS-72X+) at the annual Army Aviation Association of America convention in Nashville earlier this week.
The AAS-72X+, an armed derivative of the Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter will be manufactured by the company’s American Eurocopter business unit in Columbus, Missouri.
The AAS-72X+ helicopter builds on the 3 Armed Aerial Scout Technical Demonstrator Aircraft (TDA) already developed, tested and flown, using the company’s own research and development investment.
“This latest evolution of the Armed Scout gives us the option of offering an even more capable system, to ensure our combat troops have the very best aircraft available to meet their demanding missions. We look forward to demonstrating the advanced performance of the AAS-72X+ during the Army’s Voluntary Flight Demonstration this summer,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.
The AAS-72X or AAS-72X+ could be built and delivered at a cost competitive with the upgrades planned for the Vietnam-era OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and fielded to Army units as early as 2016.
This variant is based on the commercial EC-145T2 aircraft which incorporates the more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines with dual channel FADEC, a Fenestron tail rotor for improved anti-torque, an upgraded transmission, the Helionix glass cockpit and avionics suite, and a 4-axis autopilot system.
These elements of the AAS-72X+ will offer the Army greater power, range, endurance and payload capacity when operating in 6,000 foot altitude and 95 degree environments, commonly known as “6K/95 high/hot” conditions — the most demanding environment for rotary-wing operations.
The AAS-72X+’s performance will exceed the Army’s previously published 6K/95 endurance requirement of 2 hours and 12 minutes plus a 20 minute fuel reserve, while carrying a 2,800 pound useful payload for mission equipment and crew.
EADS North America has delivered more than 210 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army and 5 to the U.S. Navy, all on schedule and on budget.