27 Sep 2018

US Air Force to retire UH-1N Huey fleet in favour of Boeing MH-139

The US Air Force plans to replace its 40-year-old fleet of world-renowned UH-1N ‘Huey’ helicopters with 84 Boeing MH-139 aircraft, it has been revealed.

The programme, valued at a staggering $2.4 billion, encompasses manufacture of the 84 aircraft along with additional training devices and associated support from Boeing.

“We’re grateful for the Air Force’s confidence in our MH-139 team,” commented David Koopersmith, Vice President and General Manager of 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 helicopter is derived from the Leonardo AW139, which is currently used by more than 270 governments, militaries and organisations worldwide. Leonardo describes the MH-139 as “modern, non-developmental, multi-mission helicopter” – one that has already demonstrated its ability to protect critical national infrastructure and transport military and government representatives in various nations.

Now, Leonardo will assemble the helicopters at its northeast Philadelphia plant, while Boeing will integrate military-specific components at a facility south of the city. The contract also includes operations, maintenance, training systems and support equipment for the MH-139 aircraft.

“We’re proud to provide the US Air Force with solutions across the entire services ecosystem,” added Ed Dolanski, President of US Government Services at 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.”

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