UPDATE: Eurocopter marks milestone in Army contract

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — American Eurocopter Corp. on Thursday delivered the 100th Lakota helicopter to the U.S. Army.

The Army says the UH-72A helicopter will be put into service in Germany.

The delivery of the 100th helicopter came less than 40 months after the first one left the plant at AEC’s facility in Lowndes County.

The company reached the milestone less than four years after receiving a contract to build 322 of the aircraft.

The Lakota is based on Eurocopter’s EC-145 civilian aircraft.

The Army plans to acquire 345 Lakotas through 2016, and the service has ordered 182 of the helicopters so far, along with five H-72A versions for the Navy.

AEC is a division of EADS North America.