Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ unveiled

EADS North America has unveiled its Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ (AAS-72X+), based on the UH-72A.

April 3: EADS North America has unveiled its Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ (AAS-72X+) at the annual Army Aviation Association of America convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The AAS-72X+ is an armed derivative of the US Army’s UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter manufactured by the company’s American Eurocopter business unit in Columbus, Mississippi and is a development of three Armed Aerial Scout Technical Demonstrator Aircraft (TDA) already 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,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to demonstrating the advanced performance of the AAS-72X+ during the Army’s Voluntary Flight Demonstration this summer.”

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 helicopter, incorporating 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. It gives the new helicopter greater power, range, endurance and payload capacity when operating in 6,000ft 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 2,800lb useful payload for mission equipment and crew.

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