Boeing Begins Production of First 13 Grey Wolf Helicopters for US Air Force

Boeing will commence production of the first 13 MH-139A Grey Wolf multi-mission helicopters under a $285-million contract with the US Air Force.

The production begins an effort to replace the service’s aging UH-1N Huey fleet with up to 84 MH-139As.

Once delivered, the helicopters will be used for aircrew survival training, airlift missions, and intercontinental ballistic missile support.

A U.S. Air Force crew from 36th Rescue Squadron prepares for takeoff with UH-1N Huey number 6648 to reach 20,000 flight hours at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Jan. 13, 2023. The 36th RQS completed 759 flights in 2022, with its fleet of UH-1Ns averaging 18,000 hours total flight time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stassney Davis)
A UH-1N helicopter. Photo: Airman 1st Class Stassney Davis/US Air Force

Each MH-139A will have 50 percent more speed and range and 5,000 pounds (2,300 kilograms) maximum gross weight compared to its predecessor.

Deliveries in 2024

The MH-139A initial tranche production follows delivery of the first four units to the US Air Force for testing in 2022.

“Advancing the program from testing and evaluation to production is a major step toward entering the MH-139 into service and providing the U.S. Air Force with additional missile security for decades,” Boeing MH-139 Program Director Azeem Khan stated.

“We are working diligently to begin deliveries next year.”

Continued Partnership

Boeing is working with Leonardo to leverage experiences from its proven AW-139 choppers and the integration of new military capabilities for future MH-139A fleet production.

Under the program, Leonardo is the original equipment manufacturer and assembles the aircraft at its facility in northeast Philadelphia.

“My teammates at Leonardo, together with Boeing, are eager to continue our partnership and ensure the success of the MH-139A program,” Leonardo Helicopters US CEO Clyde Woltman said.

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