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News > American Eurocopter and its helicopters are praised by two key U.S. government operators

American Eurocopter and its helicopters are praised by two key U.S. government operators

July 10, 2009

The top managers of two major U.S. government customers for American Eurocopter gave the company high marks for its performance in providing and supporting helicopters that protect the nation and secure its borders.

UH-72A displayed at Airbus 40th anniversary

The UH-72A displayed at American Eurocopter’s 40th anniversary celebration is operated by the Texas National Guard, and is one of 72 Light Utility Helicopters delivered to date.

In speeches at today’s 40th anniversary celebration, executives from the U.S. Army and U.S. Customs and Border Protection outlined how American Eurocopter’s AS350s, EC120s and UH-72As are excelling in their mission duties.

Col. Steve Pitotti, who is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Executive Director of Test, Training, Safety and Standards, said American Eurocopter’s AS350 and EC120 helicopters are vital to his agency’s patrol duties along the nation’s more than 10,000 miles of border.

“Every hour of every day, American Eurocopter aircraft are defending our border, and we are very pleased with them,” Pitotti said.  “These helicopters are operating in the sub-tropics of Miami, in the frozen cold of Montana at 10,000 feet, over cities such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Dallas, and along the entire southwest border of the Rio Grande – all the way to San Diego.  We find these aircraft to be very powerful, very reliable, very fast and very quiet.”

He added that U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s fleet will soon be reaching a total of 67 AS350s and 18 EC120s, and Pitotti thanked American Eurocopter for a “healthy relationship” that ensures its helicopters continually meet his agency’s emerging needs and accomplish their missions.

Rusty Weiger, the Deputy Program Executive Officer for U.S. Army Aviation, said his service also is extremely pleased with its new UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter – of which 72 have been delivered to date, and up to 345 are expected to be acquired through a program managed by American Eurocopter’s U.S. parent company, EADS North America. 

“The UH-72A has accomplished what few – if any other – major programs have achieved: staying on price and schedule this far into the project…and I see no reason why we can’t continue this performance,” Weiger said.  “I also believe the Lakota program’s reputation will position us – even with today’s budget constraints – to grasp future opportunities that may arise, which will be a win for the U.S. Army, EADS North America and American Eurocopter.”

He added that the Light Utility Helicopter’s success demonstrates the companies’ “dedication to the mission of delivering this product on time, every time; training our pilots and maintenance crews; fielding the aircraft, and supporting the equipment in both the active Army and National Guard.”  

For additional coverage of American Eurocopter’s 40th anniversary event:

View the Feature archive.

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