Boeing kicks off MH-139A Grey Wolf production for US Air Force
Boeing announced on 7 March it will begin production of the first 13 MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters following the award of a $285 million USAF contract.
Deliveries of the aircraft will begin in 2024.
The MH-139 team consists of Boeing as prime contractor, and Leonardo as an original equipment manufacturer.
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The aircraft is the military variant of the AW139. It was selected for the USAF’s $2.4 billion UH-1N Huey Replacement Program in September 2018.
Leonardo produces the helicopter at its plant in northeast Philadelphia, while Boeing is responsible for military equipment procurement and installation and post-delivery support of the aircraft.
The helicopter is designed to protect ICBM sites and transport US officials and security forces. It has an increased carrying capacity over the civil AW139 it is based on.
‘Advancing the programme from testing and evaluation to production is a major step toward entering the MH-139 into service and providing the US Air Force with additional missile security for decades,’ Azeem Khan, Boeing’s MH-139 programme director, noted in a statement.
‘We are working diligently to begin deliveries next year,’ he added.
Before the company joined the Airbus bid team, it was speculated that Boeing would put forward the MH-139 for the UK’s New Medium Helicopter competition, but the company has never confirmed this.
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