The U.S. Navy has awarded AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp. (Leonardo) a contract for $176.5 million to produce 32 TH-73A (manufacturer’s designation TH-119) helicopters in support of the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program.
“Today marks a great team effort to procure and deliver a helicopter trainer for the next generation of helicopter and tilt-rotor pilots for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard,” said James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition.
Five proposals were submitted for the contract. The firm, fixed-price TH-73A base contract has three one-year options for a total contract value of $648.1 million for 130 aircraft. Helicopter deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020 and continue through 2024.
The new helicopter meets advanced rotary wing and intermediate tilt-rotor training requirements for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard through 2050. The TH-73A will be manufactured in United States with assembly taking place in the contractor’s FAA Part 21 facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Work on the first 32 aircraft is to be completed in October 2021.
Alessandro Profumo, CEO Leonardo said, “On the cusp of celebrating nearly 40 years of operating in Philadelphia, Leonardo is thrilled the U.S. Navy has selected our TH-119-based offer and us as a local and long-term partner. We are proud to be a core contributor to the future of U.S. defense.”
In addition to the TH-73A, the contract includes initial spares, support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, operations maintenance instructional training (OMIT) data, and ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training.
The new TH-73A helicopters will replace aging TH-57 (Bell 206) Sea Ranger helicopters.
“These new helicopters will ensure the Navy has capacity to train several hundred aviation students per year at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida,” said Capt. Todd St. Laurent, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) Program Manager. PMA-273, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, oversees AHTS.