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Boeing-Leonardo team has won a $2.38 billion contract to manufacture a new batch of helicopters to replace the Air Force’s UH-1N Huey used to guard the service’s nuclear missile silos.

Boeing and Leonardo’s MH-139, a 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 — which some analysts saw as the service’s aircraft of choice going into the competition.

 תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪mh-139‬‏

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 touted the program of an example of cost savings, noting that the service was able to bring down the price of the program from its original $4.1 billion cost estimate.

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.

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