Boeing to Produce Seven More MH-139A Grey Wolf Helicopters for US

Boeing has accepted a $178-million contract to develop seven additional MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters for the US Air Force.

The agreement includes training and maintenance support and will bring the service’s total number of the chopper to 26.

The latest award follows the maiden flight of the initial MH-139A production aircraft last December.

The platform is undergoing further tests, while the others are in various stages of production.

Boeing will begin the delivery of the Grey Wolf fleet in the summer of 2024.

“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,” Boeing MH-139 Program Director Azeem Khan stated.

“Delivering on these commitments and getting more capability into the hands of our customers is important to their mission protecting vital national assets.”

The Grey Wolf Helicopter

The MH-39A is a dual-piloted twin-engine rotorcraft intended to replace the Pentagon’s aging UH-1N Twin Huey medium military helicopters that have been operational since 1970.

Based on the Leonardo AW139, the Grey Wolf incorporates cockpit and cabin armor, countermeasure capabilities, a missile warning system, and mounted crew-served weapons.

MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter developed by Boeing and Leonardo. Photo: Boeing

The vehicle can fly for three hours without refueling and carry up to nine personnel. It has a maximum range of 225 nautical miles (416 kilometers) and a top speed of 135 knots (250 kilometers/155 miles per hour).

Once operational, the MH-39A fleet will be deployed for nuclear security support, emergency security and contingency response, airlift, and convoy escort missions in the country and overseas.

MH-39A Program

Boeing signed the contract to deliver the first 13 MH-139As to the US Air Force in 2023.

In August 2022, the company commenced developmental tests of the Grey Wolf after receiving supplemental certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing provided four MH-139As to the air force the same month to undergo additional trials ahead of the fleet’s operational capability. The sixth and final test aircraft was shipped in November 2023.

In 2019, the US Department of Defense announced “Grey Wolf” as the MH-139A’s designation under military service.

A year earlier, Boeing signed a $2.4-billion framework agreement to provide up to 84 MH-139As, associated training devices, and support equipment to the US Air Force. It followed the aircraft’s debut in March 2017.

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