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Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota

United States (2007)
Picture of Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Picture of Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Picture of Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
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The Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota was an offshoot of the original LHX helicopter program of the 1980s, the same that produced the now-cancelled RAH-66 Comanche.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).  Entry last updated on 3/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Airbus Helicopters UH-72 "Lakota" Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) was introduced with U.S. military forces in 2007. The aircraft became an offshoot of the Army's LHX (Light Helicopter, Experimental) program of the 1980s which also produced the since-cancelled Sikorsky RAH-66 "Comanche" light attack / reconnaissance platform. With the cancellation of said system, some of its remaining funds were reinvested to form a light utility model which became the UH-72. The UH-72 platform is based on the existing Eurocopter EC145 model introduced in 2002. Since production of the UH-72 began, some 300 examples have been delivered. Assembly is through Airbus Helicopters (formerly American Eurocopter) and the Lakota now serves the U.S. Army and Navy.

The adoption of the EC145 by the U.S. Army marks the first time it has procured a civilian market-borne helicopter platform for military service. The move was logistically-based, allowing for far lower overhead by utilizing an existing, proven system with off-the-shelf parts capability. It is intended as a replacement for the Bell OH-58 "Kiowa" series of light helicopters as well as the venerable Bell UH-1 "Huey" medium transport models.

The Lakota takes on a decidedly European look with its well-rounded body and heavily-glazed frontal section. Cockpit and cabin windows are large for increased situational awareness. A typical crew is two and passenger seating can be for up to eight or two medical litters (the latter in the MEDEVAC role). Access to the cabin is ample as the raised tail stem allows a "clamshell" style door assembly to be fitted along the aft fuselage. Additionally, there are sliding side doors for conventional entry / exit. The helicopter makes use of landing skids as opposed to more complex retracting wheeled landing legs. The main rotor sits close atop the cabin roof with an unprotected tail rotor fitted along the portside of the tail fin.

Power is served through 2 x Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines developing 738 shaft horsepower each while driving a four-blade main rotor and two-blade tail rotor. Performance includes a maximum speed of 167 miles per hour with a cruising speed near 155 miles per hour. Range is out to 425 miles and service ceilings peak around 18,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 1,600 feet per minute. Dimensions include a length of 42.6 feet with rotor diameter of 36 feet and height of 11.8 feet.


Picture of the Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Picture of the Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)


Operators beyond the U.S. Army and Navy now include Thailand which has six systems on order (2015). Another nine units were announced for procurement by the Southeast Asian nation.

Variants include the UH-72A which is the militarized form of the EC145 model. The UH-72B is being proposed as an upgraded A-model based on the newly arriving EC145 T2 model featuring uprated engines and upgraded avionics with new Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. The AAS-72X is another proposed mark as an armored light attack platform to replace the armed Bell OH-57D Kiowa Warrior in the same role. The AAS-72X+ is similar in product goal, though based on the newer EC145 T2 product model.

The U.S. Army is planning to field some 187 total Lakota helicopters as part of a new training program that already features fifty of the aircraft in 2015. These are replacing outgoing Bell TH-67 (Model 209) light helicopters in the same role. Sources also state a U.S. Army grand total of 338 Lakota helicopters and a United States Navy grand total of five helicopters.

July 2015 - The United States Army announced an order for sixteen more UH-72A helicopters from Airbus.

October 2017 - Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 400th UH-72 Lakota to the United States Army.

December 2018 - Airbus Helicopters is scheduled to deliver the last of the original 423 UH-72A models to the United States Army in February of 2018.

January 2018 - The United States Army announced that it will move to procure an additional 35 UH-72A models.

March 2018 - The U.S. Army has officially secured an order for thirty-five UH-72A helicopters.




Cockpit picture from the Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) UH-72 Lakota Cockpit Picture


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (167mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
400
400


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2007
Type: Twin-Engine Civilian / Military Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Manufacturer(s): Airbus Helicopters (fomerly Eurocopter North America) / American Eurocopter - USA
Production: 400
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
Thailand; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
42.75 ft


Meters
13.03 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
36.09 ft


Meters
11 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.32 ft


Meters
3.45 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,951 lb


Kilograms
1,792 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,904 lb


Kilograms
3,585 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Turbomeca Arriel IE2 turboshaft engines delivering 738 horsepower each and driving main rotor and tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
167 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
269 kph


Knots
145 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
426 mi


Kilometers
685 km


Nautical Miles
370 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
18,999 ft


Meters
5,791 m


Miles
3.60 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,600 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
488 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

Typically none.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• EC 145 - Base Eurocopter Civilian Model on which the militarized Lakota is based on.
• UH-72 - Base Series US Army Designation
• UH-72A - Base Production Model Designation