Airbus nets 35 more Lakota orders after Leonardo drops lawsuit


Airbus Helicopters has secured an order for 35 UH-27A Lakotas from the US Army. This order comes a month after Leonardo dropped a two-year lawsuit against the Army that kept the military from ordering more Lakotas

The US Army signed a contract for 35 additional UH-72A Lakotas, valued around $273 million. It will take delivery of 17 UH-72As for its Ft. Rucker base and 18 UH-27A Lakotas for the Observer/Controller mission at its Combat Training Centers.

The Army put out a notice on 4 January for the 35 Lakotas. This was an extension of an original order Airbus placed in 2006 for eight Lakotas – valued at $43 million – shortly after the aircraft’s first flight. The order included options for a further 483 additional Lakotas, the 35 helicopters are part of these order options.

“We are proud that the U.S. Army has continued to rely on us to provide this versatile capability for its aviation fleet. We have an unbroken record of on-cost and high-quality program excellence and support for this aircraft,” said Chris Emerson, president and CEO of Airbus Helicopters and head of North American region.

Leonardo dropped the legal case against the US Army for a 16-helicopter order last month. The order was funded as part of the Army’s FY17 defense bill.

The Italian manufacturer took the US Army to court after it named the Airbus Lakota as its institutional training helicopter in 2014 – claiming the decision violated the Competition in Contracting Act which mandates the need for full-and-open competition. This began a four-year legal dispute that saw Leonardo file complaint and restraining orders against the military for further Lakota orders.