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UH-145 military helicopter selected by the U.S. Army



Arlington, Virginia, June 30, 2006 — EADS North America today announced that the UH-145 military helicopter has been selected by the U.S. Army as its next-generation Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). The LUH requirement is for 322 aircraft with a potential total program life-cycle value of over $2 billion.

The LUH award is a continuation of EADS' 20-year heritage as a helicopter supplier to U.S. national and homeland security agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, DEA and the FBI. The decision, announced today by the U.S. Army, marks EADS North America’s first major system win as a prime contractor for the U.S. military.

"We're pleased that the UH-145 was chosen by the U.S. Army for this important mission and gratified that this selection demonstrates the service's confidence in our ability to meet the fast-paced delivery schedule and support requirements of these critical Army aircraft," said Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America's Chairman and CEO. "We look forward to a long association with the U.S. Army."

EADS North America leads a UH-145 team of companies that includes four primary partners: its American Eurocopter business unit, which will handle the helicopter's production, assembly and delivery; Sikorsky Aircraft, responsible for contractor logistics support (CLS); WestWind Technologies, for systems integration and engineering support; and CAE, the supplier of UH-145 cockpit procedural trainers.

UH-145 program management will be located in Huntsville, Alabama and led by the EADS North America Defense business unit of EADS North America. A network of leading U.S. subcontractors has been created for the Light Utility Helicopter, bringing together companies such as Aerolite, Armor Holdings, the NORDAM Group, Keith Products, Thales USA, Turbomeca USA and Wulfsberg Electronics.

"When EADS North America was created four years ago, we committed to in-source U.S. jobs of high value, bring the best technology to America, and contribute to homeland security," Crosby said. "The UH-145 will enable us to deliver once again on all three promises, while providing the Army with an optimum solution from a team of leading U.S. suppliers."

The UH-145's industrial activity will be centered at American Eurocopter's Columbus, Mississippi facility, which is to undergo a major expansion to accommodate the Light Utility Helicopter program. The Production line of the UH-145 - a version of Eurocopter's EC145 multi-mission helicopter, currently built in Germany - will be duplicated in Columbus through a series of steps that begins with partial assembly, followed by full assembly and the subsequent U.S. manufacture of major subsystems.

American Eurocopter President Marc Paganini said, "The UH-145 contract marks another significant growth of our U.S. government business and recognizes the excellence of our products. This also signifies a major new evolution of the Columbus plant - which has grown steadily since its startup in 2004."

"EADS North America has won an important U.S. Army contract that will support military missions both at home and abroad," said Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi. "The Light Utility Helicopter program award indicates that Mississippi continues to enhance its reputation as a state with advanced technology development capabilities and is firmly committed to meeting the needs of the men and women who are fighting to protect our nation."

"The announcement of the EADS North America U.S. Army Light Utility Helicopter selection is great news for the state of Mississippi and the Golden Triangle region," said Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. "With this success, EADS and American Eurocopter will help further develop the state of Mississippi as a worldwide center of excellence in helicopter manufacturing and aerospace technology."

"The addition of this important new manufacturing program to American Eurocopter's existing Columbus operation is a great complement to our burgeoning defense industry, and we welcome production of the Army's new Light Utility Helicopter in Mississippi," said Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi. "Our state's partnerships with outstanding companies such as EADS North America and American Eurocopter to provide high-tech, high-quality military systems to our men and women in uniform continue to strengthen, and that's a testament to our highly-skilled workforce."

"EADS North America and American Eurocopter's U.S. Army contract win means bigger and better things are going to happen in the Golden Triangle," stated Congressman Roger Wicker, representing the First Congressional District of Mississippi. "EADS and American Eurocopter are delivering on their promise of bringing high value jobs and technology to the region and we are ready to support them."

"The Golden Triangle region continues to grow as a national competitor for technology and defense sector development," said Congressman Chip Pickering, of Mississippi's Third Congressional District. "American Eurocopter is a company dedicated to the people of this region and they will continue to bring worldwide aerospace technology to benefit Mississippi’s economy and create high-paying jobs."

EADS North America has made a significant commitment to the UH-145 program, with the first helicopter already in assembly for delivery to the Army this November. In addition, components already have been allocated for the manufacture of seven more UH-145s.

American Eurocopter's expansion of the 92,200 sq.-ft. Columbus facility will begin almost immediately, with its size increasing to approximately 276,000 square feet to accommodate the UH-145 program activity.

For additional information, read the Feature story on the UH-145 program build-up.

About EADS North America (

EADS North America is the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $8.5 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 174,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. With 11 operating companies located in 30 cities and 15 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

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