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Blackhawks beaten out by Italian-designed copter for Air Force UH-1 replacement

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Jorge Medina
Sep 25, 2018 15:01
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Just in time to avoid the end of the fiscal year, the US Air Force has finally selected a successor to the aged UH-1 Hueys used by the Air Force's nuclear missile security force: the MH-139, a militarized version of the AgustaWestland AW139 from the Italian aerospace and defense company Leonardo.

The MH-139 was a joint bid by Leonardo and Boeing and will be built in the United States at Leonardo's facilities in Philadelphia.

The award this morning is for $375 million, covering delivery of the first four helicopters.

But the overall program could be worth up to $2.4 billion, delivering up to 84 helicopters, as well as training systems and support equipment.

Sitrep: The Air Force’s senior-citizen chopper may have to hold off retirement

The MH-139 beat out two separate bids to provide helicopters based on the Lockheed Martin Sikorsky H-60 Blackhawk—one from Lockheed for a new variant based on the helicopter being built for the Air Force's special operations squadrons, and another from Sierra Nevada Corporation that would have refurbished retired US Army UH-60s with new avionics.

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Jorge Medina
Sep 25, 2018 15:01
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