SDN Staff Reports
The second of three company-funded demonstrators for an aircraft which could be built in Lowndes County went on a test flight Tuesday, EADS North
America officials said Wednesday.
The Armed Aerial Scout 72X Technical Demonstration Aircraft 40-minute flight happened at American Eurocopterâ€™s facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Company officials set demonstration of integrated targeting sensor, manned/unmanned teaming (MUM-T) and communications and navigation capabilities, they said in a statement.
Subsequent test flights will demonstrate more expected capabilities to meet the U.S. Armyâ€™s current Armed Aerial Scout mission requirements.
The EADS North America-led industry team, comprised of Lockheed Martin, Eurocopter and American Eurocopter, is putting together three AAS-72X aircraft to demonstrate the total capability of the aircraft with a fully-integrated mission equipment package.
â€śThis is a significant milestone for our industry team as we further demonstrate the capabilities of our aircraft and its ability to meet the Armyâ€™s warfighting requirement,â€ť said Sean Oâ€™Keefe, CEO of EADS North America.
â€śWeâ€™re pleased with our progress to date and remain fully committed to
developing and demonstrating a solution for the Armed Aerial Scout mission.â€ť
â€śTodayâ€™s event proves our commitment to this project in terms of our financial investment and emphasizes our enhanced engineering capability to serve our U.S. Army customer. This is yet another example of delivering on our promise,â€ť said Marc Paganini, president and CEO American Eurocopter. â€ś
The first TDA has been used to show anticipated requirement for the mission, including a series of successful high/hot test flights which met all test objectives including hover-out-of-ground-effect and flight endurance with a 2,300-pound simulated MEP, and a transportability demonstration of five helicopters on a C-17 transport.
The AAS-72X is derived from the same aircraft type as the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter, which is assembled at American Eurocopterâ€™s facility at Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Lowndes County.
EADS North America has delivered 146 UH-72As on time and within budget, including five to the U.S. Navy, company officials said Tuesday.