The Boeing’s MH-139A Grey Wolf multi-mission helicopter successfully completed its first live hoist test lifting Special Mission Aviators via the massive forest penetrator and the rescue strop. The 413th Flight Test Squadron and the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Det. 7 worked together to reach another milestone for the U.S. Air Force’s newest helicopter. While the platform provides search and rescue capabilities to all commands, it also is slated to provide emergency security response for nuclear security missions within Air Force Global Strike Command and contingency response and airlift to Air Force District of Washington.
The MH-139A is based on the AgustaWestland AW139, now known as the Leonardo AW139, a commercially-available and proven helicopter. The helicopter is outfitted with additional capabilities including military communication capabilities, navigation and enhanced survivability features, including an armored cockpit and cabin, a missile warning and countermeasure system, two mounted M240s, and bolstered self-sealing fuel cells. The MH-139A Grey Wolf is designed to protect intercontinental ballistic missiles and transport U.S. government officials and security forces.
Aircraft enters Low-Rate Initial Production with first 13 aircraft scheduled to begin delivering in 2024. MH-139A is based on Leonardo’s proven multi-mission AW139. Leonardo produces the MH-139A at its FAA-certified Part 21 production line in Philadelphia, PA and transfers it to Boeing in Ridley Park, PA for militarization. Subsequently, Boeing and Leonardo have announced a contract for delivery of the first thirteen (13) aircraft. The initiation of low-rate production will yield the first operational aircraft set to replace the U.S. Air Force’s current fleet of UH-1N “Huey” helicopters, with first delivery slated for 2024.
By offering a proven aircraft with the AW139 and integrating Boeing’s advanced technology, the US Air Force is assured the best helicopter for its critical mission set. The MH-139A’s enhanced capabilities allow it to accomplish missions more quickly, quietly, and efficiently. With 50% increase in speed and range, and an increase of 5,000 pounds max gross weight, the aircraft is well positioned to execute the Air Force mission of protecting intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) sites across the United States. The Boeing-Leonardo Team was awarded a $2.4 billion contract in September 2018 for up to 84 helicopters, training systems and associated support equipment.