Boeing has announced that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) chose MH-139 helicopter for replacing the more than 40-year-old UH-1N “Huey” helicopters.
According to the statement, announced on 24 September by Boeing, the company will provide its MH-139 helicopter and related support to the U.S. Air Force to replace the more than 40-year-old UH-1N “Huey” helicopters used to protect America’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
The program awarded today is valued at $2.4 billion for up to 84 helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment.
“We’re grateful for the Air Force’s confidence in our MH-139 team,” said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. “The MH-139 exceeds mission requirements, it’s also ideal for VIP transport, and it offers the Air Force up to $1 billion in acquisition and lifecycle cost savings.”
The MH-139 derives from the Leonardo AW139, which is used by more than 270 governments, militaries and companies worldwide. Leonardo will assemble the helicopters at its northeast Philadelphia plant, with Boeing integrating military-specific components at its facility south of that city.
The contract also includes operations, maintenance, training systems and support equipment for the MH-139 aircraft.
“We’re proud to provide the U.S. Air Force with solutions across the entire services ecosystem,” said Ed Dolanski, president of U.S. Government Services, Boeing Global Services. “With the AW139 platform’s more than 2 million flight hours and established supply chain, we look forward to applying our expertise to drive cost savings while supporting mission readiness.”
The MH-139 is a variant of the AW139, which Italy’s Augusta and Bell Helicopter, now part of Textron, originally developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Almost 900 AW139s are in service with more than 250 governments, militaries and companies across the world. More than 250 of the helicopters have been assembled and delivered from Philadelphia.