Video: U.S. Army Expands Contract with Airbus

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UPDATE: (PRESS RELEASE) U.S. Army today informed U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, that it has approved a contract modification worth more than $55.3 million to procure an additional 10 UH-72A Lakota helicopters. All work will be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an expected completion date of June 30, 2015.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today praised Mississippi workers for producing and delivering the 300th UH-72A Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army.

The Airbus Group manufacturing plant in Columbus, which produces the aircraft for the Defense Department, celebrated the delivery of its 300th Lakota Helicopter at a ceremony on Wednesday that featured Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

“Our Army and National Guard forces rely on the good work of the Mississippians who manufacture the Lakota helicopters. I’m proud of the excellent work done at this plant in Columbus, as well as the confidence that the Defense Department has in the final product,” Cochran said.

The Airbus Group facility at Columbus was recently awarded two defense contracts to continue production of the UH-72A Lakota helicopters for both the U.S. Army and the Royal Thailand Army. Together, those contracts totaled more than $56.8 million.

In January, Congress approved the FY2014 omnibus appropriations act, which provided $171 million to support the procurement of additional UH-72A Lakota helicopters, which are considered one of the most cost-effective programs in the military. In addition to being used for military missions, these helicopters are used to support disaster response, border protection and pilot training.

Cochran has long been a supporter of the Lakota program, helping facilitate Airbus’s decision to locate in Columbus and providing oversight of the program to ensure steady employment and production efficiencies.

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