Boeing has won a $2.38bn contract to replace the US Air Force’s fleet of UH-1N Huey helicopters.

The company said Monday it will deliver and maintain up to 84 MH-139helicopters and provide training devices and related support equipment for the aircraft.

MH-139 is based on the Leonardo-built AW139 helicopter that currently serves more than 250 government, commercial and military clients worldwide.

Leonardo will perform assembly work on the helicopters and Boeing will integrate military components into the aircraft.

“With the AW139 platform’s more than two million flight hours and established supply chain, we look forward to applying our expertise to drive cost savings while supporting mission readiness,” said Ed Dolanski, president of U.S. government services at Boeing’s global services business.

On their website, Boeing describe the aircraft:

“The Boeing MH-139, based on a fully type-certified FAA FAR Part 29 helicopter, provides a capable, affordable, and ready to serve platform for the U.S. Air Force’s UH-1N Replacement Program. Proven to excel in the most demanding environments around the world, the MH-139 will meet all U.S. Air Force requirements and demonstrates a robust spectrum of capabilities with unmatched versatility.

The Boeing MH-139 leverages more than a decade of service, derived from the AW139 built in Philadelphia, with a fleet of more than 900 aircraft, serving more than 250 customers worldwide, spanning more than 2.1 million flight hours.”

The US Defense Department said Monday work will occur in Philadelphia and Ridley Park through September 2031 should the service exercise all options.

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After years of cost cutting we have arrived at a situation where we make virtually nothing and people who used to be our customers are buying from those we help set up in business. Meanwhile the do-gooders demand we stop selling even more to those few customers we have left. But hey the future terrorist loving leader of the Uk has just promised 40K green jobs.


(Chris H) farouk – We make nothing? Can I gently correct you? We are the 9th largest manufacturing country in the world. We punch way above our weight vs population. And Aerospace UK is worth over £18 Bn a year to UK GDP.

Sorry I can’t let this sort of negativity go unchallenged and please don’t believe the Remoaner propaganda


Afternoon Chris:
Apologies I was actually referring to the arms industry, and in this case building helicopters . I should have been less cryptic I suppose I should get on my bike (pun intended)


(Chris H) – farouk – No worries mate – you can borrow my Triumph Daytona 675. But don’t bin it ….


The 400k green jobs sounds fantastic, but its not going to be exporting anything. In fact if it means utilities are more expensive for business then it could hit exports including defence exports. We are at almost full employment at present so 400k jobs would mean up skilling, then bringing in cheap migrant labour to fill the gap or directly employing migrant labour for the green jobs. So what’s missing is investment in automation at the low end to remove low end jobs and the need for 400k more people which will just adds pressure on already stretched services. Actually… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Cheap migrant labour.

Which is EXACTLY what Corbyn and co want as they think it increases their fan base.

And was one of the primary reasons people voted for Brexit. To reduce immigration.

Oh the fun never ends with the political classes does it.


(Chris H) – Its just another Labour fluffy soundbite reflecting a solution looking for a problem. Throw in some trigger phrases and jobs a good ‘un… Innit? We have full employment, the best in the EU by a country Mile (or Kilometre), so why the solution? Its the same kidology used to bamboozle soft students in 2017 and now the even softer Green Brigade will sup this up. ‘Jewemy’ will need those votes as 120 of his MPs are now looking at a shortened career after Starmer poked two fingers up to millions of Labour Leave voters in those 120… Read more »


Chris – Its anticipated that 30% of jobs will disappear over the next few decades. I don’t doubt this, look at self drive tech, its almost there this put almost every taxi driver out of work. This will spread to delivery drivers, lorry drivers. That’s just one example. Immigration policy needs to be aligned to the new disruptive tech that coming that will replace millions of jobs. We certainly won’t need more workers in the future well need less.


(Chris H) expat – you are of course dead right. But the UK economy has been on constant change since the ’70s. And if there is one thing we do well its manage change. I am not sure about the auto drive cars or taxis – maybe. But we will never get 44 tonne trucks without drivers. Just far to risky.

I think what the Government put out on Monday about how immigration will match what we need post Brexit was a very good start. Not 100% there but it makes the same points you have.


Chris, I believe there’s so much investment going on in some new tech its hard to believe it will not happen. Volvo already have self drive trucks, of course like military drones their will probably a person in the loop for now. US military are looking at driverless trucks as it reduces the risk. I truly believe we need to embrace new tech, if we don’t we’ll be left behind. As for risk, the first mono wing plane was risky, the first jet airliner was risky. If we let that get in the way we’d still be flying… Read more »


(Chris H) – I always shake my head when I see how the Yanks take over anything they are involved with. Its not a ‘Boeing MH_139’ its an AW 139 to which Boeing are adding US military systems. They never designed it (Agusta Westland Bell did) or built it as Agusta Westland do that in Vergiate Italy and in Philadelphia. AW were burned by US Pork Barrel politics and especially Boeing over the aborted ‘Marine One’ contract for 23 Merlins after 9 airframes had been delivered on time and to budget. It was the US political side that killed it… Read more »



Harry Bulpit

Americans have to much national pride. Its one thing to secure licensing to build kit in your own country, but to completely claim a design is disgusting.


Do you guys not call your AH-64 the “Augusta-Westland Apache”?


Chris wrote:
I always shake my head when I see how the Yanks take over anything they are involved with.

The Bell X1 comes to mind seeing as it is virtually a clone of the Miles M52, yet according to history it was the yanks who had the right stuff.


Wasn’t there a program in the dim and distant past that showed the Miles would have broken the sound barrier, if the ministry hadn’t cancelled the development. I believe they put a model in a supersonic wind tunnel to prove the concept. As a moot point, the Bell X1 would never have past the sound barrier without British knowledge, The original design had a normal tail-plane i.e. one fixed part and a moving elevator. Miles had designed an all moving tail-plane, this was crucial for control as the aircraft transitioned through the transonic to supersonic speed zones.


Spot on DaveyB. There had been a “gentlemen’s” agreement between Miles and Bell to share all technical information which worked well enough until Bell got the idea for the all moving tail-plane from Miles. From that point on, any feedback from Bell stopped and a few weeks later the X-1 broke the sound barrier.


Leonardo are looking at moving production of AW149 to uk. Puma replacement? Especially as 139’s used for training.

Leo Jones

It is hard to find out much about what Leonardo actually make in the UK at the old Westland plant now. The odd export Wildcat and Merlin. A few SAR helicopters. Anything else?

Harry Bulpit

Merlin would be better and more cost effective as we already have a substantial number of aircraft in the navy.

R Cummings

The Merlin is fine as a naval sub hunter etc, but is really too big and expensive for the medium utility battlefield role, which doesn’t need 3 expensive engines! The Chinook handles the heavy lift element on the battlefield, max take-off weight 22.6 tons. The medium utility helis are under half that weight (and cost) – Black Hawk 10.66, NH90 TT 10.6, AW149 8.6, Puma 7.0. They can all carry between a section (8 combat-laden troops) and half a platoon (17-18). Merlin, at nearly 15 tons, is the odd man out, a very expensive commodity which doesn’t match the Chinook’s… Read more »


Chris, I agree. It never seizes to amaze me that Trump and “the base” believe US industry is hard done by by global markets. The US systematically attempts to dismantle any kind of competing foreign manufacturers and always has done. At least with European and Asian competitors you can compete based on size and there is room to play nicely.


(Chris H) Julian – and the truly sad thing is the US military never ever get what they really want and need when thy need it despite a huge Defence Budget the likes of which no other country runs. They get what US Incorporated paid Senators tell them they need. And then they fail to deliver. SO the USAF is still using 40+ year old KC-135s rather than the A330 MRTT they really wanted and now still no KC-46s. The most powerful man in the world uses 40 year old Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King or 20 year old smaller VH-60N… Read more »


Your US Incorporated conspiracy theories again? The Military gets what they need in the end it always has. As for Senators telling the Military what they need? That is called a Republic. As for Senators and Congressmen being paid by industry? You mean their voters who reside in their constituencies. There is no vast American conspiracy against European or British industries. What there is, is a very well developed and correct sense by both voters and due to that their representatives that American tax dollars should NOT go overseas. Airbus can go take a long walk off a short pier… Read more »


(Chris H) Elliott – Thanks once again for proving my basic point and showing how the American mind works. Well the Republican American mind. It is no ‘conspiracy theory’ it is historical fact. And your patriotic bullcrap about how no Congressman or Senator would allow Airbus to win defies the factual events that the USAF ran a competitive bidding process, Airbus won over 800 points against Boeing’s 375 and so Airbus was given the contract to build the A330 MRTT or ‘KC-45’. And Airbus were going to do that in Alabama so your ‘tax dollars’ were never ‘going abroad’ were… Read more »


Aww I hurt seem to have hurt your feelings. Do not throw insults if you can’t take insults. Americans hate Airbus because it constantly receives subsidies in the form of loans from European countries. In addition to EU countries outright owning stock in it. Then it has Germany, France, and the UK accept massive delays such as for the A400 delays that are deliberately engineered to benefit Airbus financially. All of these are subsidies under American law. An example that is different Boeing has repeatedly taken massive penalties on it’s tanker contract. Where in a similar situation Airbus would have… Read more »


So Eliot, I think what you are saying is that some of the foundations of the “American Dream” such as free trade, capitalism that grows the wealth, the removal of interest groups and elitism and above all equality of opportunity to excel and make your life better only apply if you happen to be American. The following statements really do offer support to Chris Hs less than sparkling view of areas of US culture. ” developed and correct sense ………….. That American tax dollars should not go overseas” “If preserving American jobs and the industrial base causes Euro trash to… Read more »


(Chris H) Maybe us ‘Euro Trash’ should adopt the philosophy “That European tax Euros and British tax Pounds should not go overseas” for which read the USA Protectionism and isolationism is what did for the USA in the ’20s and ’30s and it took a Wold War to drag the USA out of its stupidity. Sadly Trump is dragging the USA back inside itself. Fine. It just means the rest of the world will trade amongst themselves. Elliott made me rethink my views on US Incorporated and the US political mindset to screw over anyone that isn’t ‘American’ but this… Read more »


Jonathan The rights and privileges of the citizen and thus the “American Dream” within the US are and should be the province of people who are in fact citizens. If somebody wants them immigration and acquisition of citizenship is easier than in any other country. Further why should it not enrage any citizen if he was to find out that say his neighbor, cousin, brother, sister, or in laws are going to the unemployment line. Not because of a cut in Government spending (understandable) or because of a competition in another part of the Nation understandable as they are at… Read more »


Chris Thanks for yet again showing your normal routine. Complain about American, French, German, or Japanese protectionism. Calling it wrong and immoral. Followed by immediately calling for British protectionism. As clearly by your logic Britain moral US evil. Wouldn’t have an issue if you admitted it but you grandstand. Complain about the term “Euro Trash” being derogatory then use the term Yank or Yankee. Apparently unable to grasp the terms are equally derogatory. While in the South (which like most English and Europeans you make high handed presumptions of racism about) calling someone a Yankee, Yank, or a Yankee brat… Read more »