U.S. Army Confirms AAS Will Be New Start Or OH-58 SLEP

By Graham Warwick graham.warwick@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First

Statements by Army leaders that aircraft evaluated in the VFD did not offer the required “generational” change in capability have puzzled bidders (AWIN first, May 8). EADS says its AAS-72X+ was rated as meeting the Army’s performance and affordability goals.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) criticized the Army for terminating procurement of EADS’s UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter, on which the ASS-72X is based, before it had made a decision on AAS. The UH-72A assembly line is in Columbus, Miss.

Barclay said the Army had completed procurement for the National Guard and Reserves, and that the final 31 aircraft that will now not be procured were all scheduled for the active component.

They were intended to cover gaps left by the forward deployment of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks, but with the drawdown in Afghanistan those aircraft have come back to the continental U.S. and the UH-72As are no longer required, he said.

Phillips said the Army has had discussions with EADS North America on the production schedule and the possibility of foreign military sales keeping the UH-72 line open.

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