The Air Force picks a winner for its Huey replacement helicopter contract

Say Hello to the Air Force’s Huey Replacement.

The Boeing MH-139
(Photo creds: Boeing)

In an upset, a Boeing-Leonardo team has won a $2.38 billion contract to manufacture a new batch of helicopters to the Airforce’s fleet of UH-1N Hueys.

The Boeing MH-139 is the militarized version of the commercial AW139 manufactured by Leonardo subsidiary AgustaWestland in Philadelphia, beat out Lockheed Martin Sikorsky and Sierra Nevada Corp., which both offered versions of the UH-60 Black Hawk that some epxerts saw as the service’s aircraft of choice going into the competition.

As such, the Sept. 24 contract announcement is a major victory for the Boeing-Leonardo team, which received an initial $375 million for the first four helicopters and the integration of military-specific items needed to bring the AW139 to the Air Force’s requirements
The Air Force plans on buying 84 new helicopters over the course of the program, with the first aircraft being delivered in fiscal year 2021.

“We’re grateful for the Air Force’s confidence in our MH-139 team,” said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager for Boeing’s vertical lift business. “The MH-139 exceeds mission requirements, it’s also ideal for VIP transport, and it offers the Air Force up to $1 billion in acquisition and lifecycle cost savings.”

Throughout the course of the competition, Sikorsky’s HH-60U was seen as the frontrunner by experts who pointed to the fact that the Air Force had initially sought to sole-source UH-60 Black Hawks to replace the UH-1N. The U-model was differentiated from the Army’s Black Hawk by the addition of a rescue hoist and electro-optical sensor among other modifications.

(Photo creds: Sikorsky)


You mean to tell me a company beat out Boeing 😱 and that we did not go for the lowest bidder lol.

1 Like

Well Boeing won, so no lol they beat Sikorsky lol

Okay thats my Air Force I know lol. If it Boeing we aint going 😂

1 Like

haha! Sikorsky is probably going sue or something

Yea, I could see that lol.

That helicopter looks snazzy 😍 As soon as you see one in Alaska @anon93248082, get your camera!

1 Like

Just remember, the last crew to fly this ship to the bone yard will be a Huey crew ;)

you know, the decision to go with the boeing helo makes 100% sense, why on earth would the AF go with a helo we already have and have been operating for years…

sometimes i really try to wrap my head around this stuff, but then i realize not even the AF knows what they are doing…

Having had the fun of flying the UH-1D, AW139 and the S-61N I would have to say that I agree with the choice.

I have a few hours at the controls of the Sea Hawk and, whilst it’s an excellent machine and a delight to fly, it is a very complex machine with a large maintenance to hours flown deficit. The AW 139 is agile, responsive and quick with a proven maintenance record.

I will still have a tear in my eye when the Huey goes to the museum. Sadly I’ve seen a few of my old birds go that way!!!

1 Like

I wouldn’t mind flying the 61! That’s been on my list. Don’t think that I’ll ever get that type rating but hopefully soon I can get a type rating.

I have some 212/412 time and really love flying it, just a nice machine over all to fly.

Never had the 212 or the 412 in my time was on the UH-1D, some of which were still fitted with blade cutters on the rotor tips!

Fantastic machine, just don’t ‘bunt’ it! :O

1 Like

Oh that must of been something! You still flying?

Yep, not rotary any more though. Not enough money in it when I needed it so changed to fixed wing.

Still miss the whirly birds though. :D

1 Like

You’re missing the real fun! ;)

I think not, I had an amazing time when I was flying, 4500+ hours and it was time for a change.

Variety is the spice of life as they say. ;)

1 Like

I reside to the fact that its above my pay grade lol. But yes I know exactly how you feel.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.