US Navy orders more TH-73A training helicopters
The US DoD recently exercised its option for a fourth lot of Leonardo TH-73A (TH-119) Thrasher training helicopters for the USN.
The $110,5 million modification of a previously awarded contract will see delivery of 26 aircraft by the end of 2024. The helicopters will be produced at the company’s Philadelphia plant.
The contract for the initial lot of 32 TH-73As was awarded to Leonardo at the beginning of 2020 in support of the USN's Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) programme.
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This order included spare parts, support, dedicated equipment and specific pilot and maintenance training services.
The second lot of 36 helicopters was ordered in November 2020 through a $171 million contract modification, whereas the third was ordered through a $159.4 million contract modification for the same number of Thrashers in December 2021.
The USN's Thrashers will serve as the primary trainer for the Chief of Naval Aviation Training at NAS Whiting Field, Florida, until 2050.
They will replace the TH-57B/C Sea Ranger for the USN, USMC and the USCG undergraduate rotary and tilt-rotor helicopter training.
Leonardo introduced the TH-119, a military training variant of the AW119 single-engine helicopter, in May 2016.
The helicopter is powered by a PT6-B engine and features a dual-display Genesys Aerosystems cockpit providing the flexibility to instruct from either seat.
The cabin is also configured with an additional 180° adjustable trainer observation seat at the base of the instrument panel, giving the occupant a full view of the cockpit.
Additional features include a five-fuel cell option with a pressure refuelling port for more than five hours of flight time. This allows for less downtime to refuel, including 'hot' refuelling while the engine is still running.
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