U.S. Air Force Names Ballistic Missile Security Helicopter the MH-139A ‘Grey Wolf’

U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) named the MH-139A intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter, the “Grey Wolf” during a naming ceremony here, Dec. 19, 2019. The Grey Wolf is the first major acquisition for the command in its 10-year history. The name Grey Wolf is derived from the wild species that roams the northern tier of North America, which also encompasses the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile bases in AFGSC. General Timothy Ray, AFGSC commander, made the announcement, comparing it to the wild animal that bears the same name.

MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter

Boeing’s MH-139A “Grey Wolf” lower operating costs, increased reliability & improved maintainability translate into more than $1B in savings for the Air Force across the aircraft’s life cycle. The helicopters will provide security and support for the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile fields which span Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska. The new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N “Hueys” in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s intercontinental ballistic missile missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter

The roll out of the new helicopter, demonstrates an asset providing Intercontinental Ballistic Missile security in support of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear deterrence operations aligned with the National Defense Strategy. The acquisition was contracted through Boeing during a full and open competition at a cost of $2.38 billion for up to 84 aircraft — $1.7 billion under budget. It is the command’s first commercial “off-the-shelf” purchase, adding military-unique modifications.
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter

The MH-139A is the military version of the commercial Leonardo AW139 twin-engined, medium-sized helicopter. Built at Leonardo’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania factory, the helicopter’s military components are added by prime contractor Boeing after initial assembly. The U.S. Air Force will procure up to 84 MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment from Boeing. The Grey Wolf will replace the UH-1N, which entered the operational Air Force in 1970. The MH-139A Grey Wolf will provide vertical airlift and support the requirements of five Air Force major commands and operating agencies: Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force District of Washington, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Pacific Air Forces. Global strike is the lead command and operational capability requirements sponsor.
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter
MH-139A Grey Wolf intercontinental ballistic missile base security and support helicopter

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