Leonardo has secured the US Navy's (USN's) TH-XX training helicopter replacement requirement, with a USD176.5 million contract awarded on 13 January.
The award by the US Department of Defense (DoD) covers 32 of the Italian company's AW119-derived helicopters, due to be delivered by the end of October 2021. In USN service, the AW119 will be designated TH-73A (prior to the contract award, Leonardo had designated its USN-specific variant of the AW119 as the TH-119).
As noted by Leonardo, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation is to be the prime contractor for the work, with the new TH-73As being built in Philadelphia.
While the contract is for 32 TH-73As, the USN has a requirement for up to 130 helicopters for the advanced training of USN, US Marine Corps (USMC), and US Coast Guard (USCG) undergraduate helicopter pilots. As such, follow-on orders are likely. Delivery of the first 32 TH-73As towards the end of 2021 will enable the USN to retire the Bell JetRanger-derived TH-57 that is set to be fully withdrawn from service by 2023.
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