WASHINGTON — Leonardo’s single-engine TH-119 design has been selected to be the U.S. Navy’s TH-73A training helicopter that will replace the aged TH-57 Sea Ranger fleet, the Defense Department announced Monday.
The contract, which goes through AugustaWestland in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is for 32 aircraft and is valued at about $176.5 million.
Leonardo and AugustaWestland knocked off competitors Bell and Airbus to win the contract. The contract is for “initial spares, peculiar support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, data in excess of commercial form fit function/operations maintenance instructional training data as well as ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training” the announcement said.
A contract announcement from Leonardo said the work should be completed in October 2021.
The Navy has experiencing increasing issues with its Sea Ranger fleet, which has been in service since the early 1980s, and the need for a replacement has become pressing.
Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo’s helicopters business, said he is thrilled by the announcement.
“Today’s brilliant news is a ringing endorsement for our solutions setting new industry standards for training. We are committed to working with the U.S. Navy to ensure future pilots meet all evolving service requirements,” Cutillo said.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.