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US Navy picks Leonardo’s TH-73A as its new training helicopter

Photo: Leonardo

The US Navy has selected the AgustaWestland-developed TH-73 as its next-generation training helicopter solution.

The navy announced the decision on December 13, adding that the initial $176.5 million contract was awarded for the production of 32 TH-73A helicopters.

Leonardo’s proposal for the navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program was chosen over those pitched by Airbus and Bell.

“Today marks a great team effort to procure and deliver a helicopter trainer for the next generation of helicopter and tilt-rotor pilots for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard,” said James F. Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition.

Five proposals were submitted for the contract. The new firm fixed price TH-73A contract was awarded on a best-value tradeoff basis with a base and three one-year options. The total contract value is $648.1M for the procurement of 130 aircraft. Helicopter deliveries are scheduled to begin in calendar year 2020 and continue through calendar year 2024.

The TH-73A will be manufactured in United States with assembly taking place, through FAA Airworthiness certification, in the contractor’s facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“The new Leonardo TH-73A helicopters are the cornerstone of AHTS, which is the planned replacement to address the capability and capacity gaps of the current aging TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter training platform,” said Capt. Todd St. Laurent, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) Program Manager.