"As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am proud to show my support for this program and will keep pushing for its continued production," said Rep. Veasey. "Proposed cuts to the Lakota program are a misguided attempt to find savings in a way that would cost the Metroplex severe job loss and economic revenue."
The Army, National Guard and Navy have applauded the capabilities of the Lakota, which is used for missions including border security, search and rescue, medical evacuation, transport and pilot training. National Guard crews have praised the aircraft's performance in missions flown on the U.S.-Mexico border conducting surveillance for drug and human trafficking.
"The Lakota costs significantly less to purchase, own and operate than any other aircraft available to do the mission," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. "It is fully meeting the requirements of the Army and National Guard, and it can easily and affordably be modified to serve in a wider range of missions, whether in peacetime or deployed into combat zones."
"Our customer, the U.S. Army, is pleased with our work," said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of American Eurocopter. "We have provided an aircraft that performs every day with a more than 90 percent availability rate. That is unheard of across other Army aviation platforms. Our employees have performed outstanding work equipping the men and women of the U.S. military with the best aircraft possible."
"The jobs of many of Turbomeca's 600-plus employees, both in Grand Prairie and at our manufacturing plant in Monroe, N.C., are tied to this aircraft program," said Russ Spray, President and Chief Executive of Turbomeca USA, the engine supplier for the Lakota. "The Lakota program is important economic stimulus in the U.S., but it also provides the U.S. armed forces with a versatile and needed aircraft."
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer that produces, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer in the United States. The company is a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, and is an affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world. American Eurocopter's product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facilities are located in Grand Prairie, Texas, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss., that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army's Light Utility Helicopter program.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the U.S.-based operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense, and related services. EADS contributes more than $14 billion to the U.S. economy annually and supports over 225,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers. EADS North America, headquartered in Herndon, Va., offers a broad array of advanced solutions to meet U.S. military and commercial requirements, including fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, homeland security systems, public safety communications, defense electronics and avionics, and threat detection systems.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2012, the Group -- comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter -- generated revenues of EUR 56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.
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