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Author Topic: National Guard getting $2 million helicopters  (Read 3271 times)

Offline tigershark

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National Guard getting $2 million helicopters
« on: August 08, 2008, 12:24:07 AM »
National Guard getting $2 million helicopters
By Karen Voyles
Sun staff writer

 Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 7:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 7:53 a.m.
The Florida National Guard will be receiving two new helicopters on Saturday, each worth about $2 million and being paid for by the federal government.  National Guard officials said the new UH-72 Lakota helicopters will replace the smaller OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and should improve the guard's ability to respond to state emergencies. According to guard officials, the twin-engine Lakota is capable of carrying up to two pilots and seven passengers. Officials described the main cabin of the Lakota as "re-configurable," and said that feature makes it a flexible aircraft that will be able to be used in a wide variety of situations.

"This will improve our aviation capabilities during state emergencies, weapons of mass destruction events, counterdrug missions, or any missions in the United States to provide security and surveillance," said Florida Army National Guard Aviation Safety Officer Col. Perry Hagaman in a news release. "Instead of using 1960's technology like we have with the Kiowas, the new Lakotas use 21st Century technology."

The Lakotah is rated to hold a maximum weight of about 8,000 pounds and travel at speeds up to 145 knots, or 166.75 miles per hour. Officials said the Lakota is the military version of the civilian EuroCopter EC-145, "A multi-mission helicopter that is currently used worldwide for law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, search and rescue and corporate transport."

Florida's Army National Guard will receives its first two Lakotas this week and is scheduled to receive another pair in October. Nationwide, the goal is to have two to four Lakota helicopters assigned to each state and territory National Guard unit by 2017.



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