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The Royal Thai Army has ordered UH-72As through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program. These Lakotas are scheduled to be fi elded to Thailand within the coming months. Airbus Helicopters is marketing the UH-72A to other allied nations with requirements for a modern, low cost multi-mission helicopter.

Aero Design Ltd. Off ers New Financing Payment Options

Airbus Group Delivers First New UH-72A Lakota for Army Initial-Entry Trainer Mission

Airbus Group recently delivered to the U.S. Army the fi rst UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line confi gured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter.

The aircraft will join seven Lakotas previously in the Army inventory that have already been modifi ed to trainin g confi guration and fi elded to Fort Rucker, Alabama, in preparation for the Lakota’s formal introduction into the training curriculum in early fi scal 2016. Ultimately, the Army plans for an initial-entry rotary- wing training fl eet of 187 Lakotas, made up of a mix of new deliveries and already in-service aircraft reconfi gured for training missions.

To date, the Department of Defense has ordered 411 Lakotas, 400 for the U.S. Army. With this latest delivery, 332 completed aircraft have been delivered – all on time and on budget – from the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production facility in Columbus, Mississippi.

“For a program to succeed in the current budget environment, aff ordability and reliable program performance must accompany mission fl exibility,” said Allan McArtor, Airbus Group chairman and CEO. “Since awarding the contract in 2006, the Army has managed this program unfailingly on cost and on schedule, and we’re proud to see that record continue as we deliver the latest confi guration of this versatile, multi-mission aircraft.”

“We’re making the necessary important investments to ensure a successful transition of the Lakota into training operations at Fort Rucker,” said Marc Paganini, president and CEO of Airbus Helicopters Inc. “We’re honored that future Army aviators will begin their fl ying careers at the controls of the Lakota.”

The Lakota was competitively selected in 2006 to fi ll a wide variety of roles for the active Army and Army National Guard, including search and rescue, medical evacuation,

border security, command

and control, VIP transport, general utility and training. Army National Guard units, operating UH-72As equipped with the Security & Support Mission Equipment Package, are deployed supporting Customs and Border Protection missions along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Lakota is also operated in a training role by the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

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Aero Design recently rolled out a fi nancing program that allows Canadian and U.S. operators to disperse payments over as many as 12 months, and overseas customers over as many as six months, to support them in the purchase of Aero Design products. The company’s hope is that it will make these purchases a little easier to absorb in the short term and help provide the equipment and confi dence for operators to explore new and exciting sources of revenue.

Aero Design President Jason Rekve stated, “With a long-time connection in maintenance and operations segments of the Canadian utility helicopter industry, I completely understand the obstacles and requirements of operators and crews. Aero Design is fully committed to providing products and solutions that ensure the growth of our businesses and our industry.”

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