EADS Bid to Replace the Kiowa Warrior

Well, here you have it, the Armed Aerial Scout 72X+. It’s EADS North America’s bid for the Army’s effort to replace or upgrade its ancient OH-58 Kiowa Warrior armed scout choppers.

Yup, the EADS bird looks like a beefed up version of the Army’s UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter — the EADS-made chopper that has replaced the service’s venerable UH-1 Hueys in non-combat roles — because that’s pretty much what it is.

Here’s what the company has to say about the Lakota on steroids:

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 aircraft which incorporates the 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.

These elements of the AAS-72X+ will offer the Army greater power, range, endurance and payload capacity when operating in 6,000 foot 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 2,800 pound useful payload for mission equipment and crew.

EADS North America has delivered more than 210 UH-72A Lakotas to the Army and five the U.S. Navy, all on schedule and on budget.

Here’s EADS rival Sikorsky’s plan the scout chopper contest.

  • blight_

    Sikorsky’s seems more founded on new helicopter design which might be good or might be bad.

    • Sgt_Buffy

      I just like the Fenestron rotor in the back. It’s good to finally replace the last of the old helicopters. We replaced the Huey and Cobra and Mini-Huey (with the Kiowa). Glad to see us moving forwards with a reliable company and program.

    • Mastro

      Yeah- it looks a bit aggressive- good from a “gee-whiz” aspect- not so much from a budgetary one.

      The EADS bid might make sense-

      • William C.

        Except the Sikorsky X2 designs provide a major leap in performance, regardless of what we are operating in the interim we’d be idiots to miss out on that.

        • asdf

          true, but it’s a high risk option for now.
          when the helicopters now on the competition wear out, it will be a logical choice.

        • asdf

          so does osprey, why not it?

      • Srk

        kimcoombs217 Posted on i was thinking about doing this with some yarn and egg dye, but i aaerldy planned on using vinegar and boiling it on the stove for 30 minutes, it won’t help with the tye-dye look that you wanted but it could save some of the color.

  • brianckramer

    They should get it just for this:

    “EADS North America has delivered more than 210 UH-72A Lakotas to the Army and five the U.S. Navy, all on schedule and on budget.”

    When was the last time an American aircraft company did that?

    • BuzzKill

      …”replaced the service’s venerable UH-1 Hueys in non-combat roles.”

      The last part should help you figure out your question.

      • Steven

        Non-sense response.

    • Tom

      As I recall, recent Chinook deliveries are on schedule and budget, and I would expect many mature aircraft programs are similarly on schedule and budget.

    • Praetorian

      Boeing — with the F-18 Super Hornets and Growlers, on time and on budget
      Boeing — with the CH-47
      Boeing — with the F-15SG & F-15K for Singapore & S. Korea

  • sdog

    i’m wondering how the upgrades mentioned in the breif would make this lakota on roids acceptable for overseas use when the standard is not considered to be good enough?

    • brianckramer

      It’s a by all accounts solid helo currently used for non-combat roles, with some modifications make it suitable for light-attack/armed recon roles.

      like turning the huey into the venom.

  • Noha307

    Still gonna haft’a go with the Sikorsky S-97. Its a purpose built machine as opposed to a conversion. In addition, it has a HUGE speed advantage (UH-72: 167 mph, OH-6: 175 mph, S-97: 250 mph), coaxial rotors (which, at least in my book, have many advantages over a conventional layout – not least of which is no more BHD incidents) and is bad @$$ to boot!

    The UH-72 ain’t a bad helicopter, it’s just the wrong tool for the job.

    • majrod

      I like the S97 concept also but what does it cost?

      On the other hand what about an upgraded AH6?

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      And the first Sikorsky S-97 Raider enters service when, and at what unit price?

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • moose

        Enters service? no contract has been awarded yet. Sikorsky’s building its prototypes now, the first will be flying at the end of next year.

        • Thomas L. Nielsen

          My point exactly – The S-97 doesn’t exist, and at present no one can say if it ever will.

          That’s why saying that the (current) Armed Aerial Scout requirement should be fulfilled with the S-97 is a no-go.

          Regards & all,

          Thomas L. Nielsen

  • Looney Tunes

    Blue Thunder… the only choice…

    • Hotel55

      Ummm, Airwolf was better! ; )

  • stephen russell

    why not adapt Kiowa with NOTAR or ducted rotor & improve engines?
    or expand for fuel & for range.
    Save $$$$ for other projects.
    Then have EADS compete.
    Ducted tail rotor module.

    • TMB

      The Kiowa hit it’s design limitations a long time ago.

  • Andrew

    Would like to know what armament in can carry in the light attack mode, two .50 gunpods doesn’t seem like a whole lot.

    • TMB

      The Kiowa can carry combinations of 2.75in rockets, a .50 cal, miniguns, and hellfires. Like you said – light attack.

      • Andrew

        Was talking about the Lakota.

        • TMB

          I know. Whatever replaces the Kiowa will have to carry the same stuff.

  • majrod

    Nice helo but let’s not focus on one solution?

    Sikorsky S97 fits the bill.

    Nor should we forget the AH6i. Already in use, one of the most survivable airframes ever, US made and already compatible with the AH64 Blk III http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2010

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “Sikorsky S97 fits the bill.”

      Except that the S-97 doesn’t actually exist. There’s a concept demonstrator flying, but that’s it.

      The S-97 does have the potential for serious awesomeness, but let’s get it built and tested first….

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

  • William C.

    At this point I think we ought to just upgrade the OH-58 pending the S-97 or some variant of Sikorsky’s X2 family.

  • shon

    Save the taxpayer money by buying a UH-1Y???
    According to wiki…
    UH-1Y = $21.6 million
    UH-60 = $21.3 million
    UH-72 = $5.9 million
    Sure the Armed Aerial Scout 72X+ is going to cost more than the UH-72 but it is still going to be less than a UH-1Y. During a time of falling budgets across the DOD the Army is wise for going with the proven and cheap solution.

    • Sgt_Buffy

      Finally some fact checking.
      I came up with about the same numbers UH1, UH60 about 20 million. UH-72: 6-8 Million.

    • Mastro

      The UH-1 – any version- was never intended as a scout. That’s why they had the Kiowa.

      • Beltway Bandit


        that’s funny…

        The Army should have just continued use of the AH-1 for reconnaissance and scouting then…. That’s what the Marines do. The Kiowa was a political buy and every one knows it.

    • LoSul

      who the heck suggested replacement with a UH-1Y? Replace a light single with a medium twin?

      Pass whatever youre smoking

    • majrod

      What’s an AH6i going for?

    • asdf

      why not osprey then, if the lakota is not us-made?

  • jamesb

    I find this amusing

    WTF would ANYBODY want to suggest the S-97 CONCEPT HELO????

    The UH-72 is a tested design…
    Has been delivered on time on budget….

    I DON’T get it?

    You guys want another Marine One caper here?

    • blight_

      The Marine One caper used a different EADS helicopter that was also OTS, and even had its own VIP versions.

      What kills the project is that the VIP versions of anything are usually custom jobs where the cost of development doesn’t amortize very well.

    • majrod

      The same reason the AH6/MD500 isn’t even mentioned. Some folks just like “new” with little consideration for price and capability.

  • jamesb

    By the way….
    Anybody know what’s going on with a NEW AFOne and Marine One?
    Will the VP and S/S get 787’s?

  • Tribulationtime

    OH-58 Kiowa are in “F” variant now, with upgrades and rebufishing and worn up. National Guard is flying UH-72 with good reports, and get added a kit to expand uses. S-97 is a newborn with odds to expend decades to mature. OH-58 was tried to evolved in a modern one ARH-70 and didn´t work. I would put my money in a proven model.

    • William C.

      Where did the E variant go?

    • majrod

      AH6/MD500 also fits the bill and is proven.

  • sarao_j

    The Fenestron tail rotor on the photo above looks totally different than the tail in this photo (http://www.armedscout.com/images/gallery/Armedscout6.jpg) yet has has the same aircraft registration (N940AE). mock up?

  • sarao_j

    both look great. I was just wondering why they “Photoshopped” the original AAS-72X instead of giving a real photo for the press release.

  • SJE

    The Sikorsky has a lot of advantages over the retooled EADS helo. But the question should not be Sikorsky v EADs, but do we continue flying old helos when we can get a decent upgrade from Vietnam era technology, now, at a predictable price, with EADS. Its not much different than flying F18As and still waiting for F35s, why not buy some F18Es now?