Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Boeing awards $178M contract for seven MH-139 Helicopters

Boeing was awarded a $178 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to advance the MH-139A helicopter program.

The contract encompasses the production of seven MH-139A Grey Wolf aircraft, along with sustainment and training support, elevating the total aircraft under contract to 26.

Azeem Khan, the MH-139 program director, emphasized the pivotal role of this contract in fortifying the Air Force’s capabilities, stating, “Building the Grey Wolf fleet and paving the way towards full rate production is a critical step in supporting the Air Force’s modernization priorities.”

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This development follows the maiden flight of the first production aircraft in December 2023. With ongoing testing of the initial aircraft and others progressing through various production stages, Boeing remains on course to deliver the first LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) aircraft to the Air Force this summer.

The MH-139A, derived from the proven Leonardo Helicopters AW139 and equipped with custom military enhancements by Boeing, stands as a versatile multi-mission helicopter. Engineered for patrol, search and rescue operations, troop and cargo transport, it integrates cutting-edge technology to enhance mission efficiency and safety.

Replacing the aging UH-1N “Huey” fleet, the MH-139A fills critical capability gaps, notably in speed, range, endurance, payload, and survivability, crucial for supporting the Air Force’s ICBM missions. Additionally, its mission repertoire encompasses civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region operations, as well as survival school and test assistance.

The Grey Wolf, as the MH-139A is colloquially known, boasts superior performance metrics compared to its predecessor. It offers a 50% increase in cruising speed and range, coupled with a 30% larger cabin capacity and the capability to lift an additional 5,000 pounds, enhancing operational flexibility and effectiveness for the Air Force.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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