Boeing and its partner Leonardo delivered the first four MH-139A Gray Wolf helicopters to the US Air Force (USAF).
The aircraft is derived from Leonardo’s civil helicopter AW139 and has just been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, paving the way for the final phase of introduction to military service.
The MH-139A will be used in two tasks, transporting U.S. government officials and security forces and also carrying out intercontinental ballistic missile protection. Both functions are now the responsibility of the former Bell UH-1N.
Boeing signed a contract with the USAF to supply 80 helicopters in a $2.4 billion package in 2018. The aircraft are assembled by Leonardo at its Philadelphia unit and then shipped to the US company, which adapts them for military missions.
“The Gray Wolf is a modern, versatile aircraft offering greater range, speed and endurance than the UH-1N Huey it replaces,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift.
“We are thrilled that the first four MH-139As have been accepted by the U.S. Air Force,” said Clyde Woltman, chief executive officer, Leonardo Helicopters U.S.