Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia, has been awarded a contract valued at $176m for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A helicopters, initial spares, support and dedicated equipment, and specific pilot and maintenance training services.

The US Navy plans to replace its fleet of Bell TH-57 Sea Rangers with 130 examples of the TH-119. The TH-119 helicopters will be rebranded as TH-73As.

The TH-119 is based on the AW119. Leonardo say that as a variant of the successful AW119 specifically configured for military training, “the TH-119 is the only modern single engine helicopter certified to operate in actual instrument conditions (IMC), resulting in more available training days that limit VFR only aircraft and add to overall time to train”.

Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive Officer Leonardo said:

“On the cusp of celebrating nearly 40 years of operating in Philadelphia, Leonardo is thrilled the U.S. Navy has selected our TH-119-based offer and us as a local and long term partner. We are proud to be a core contributor to the future of U.S. defense.”

Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters added:

“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.”

William Hunt, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters Philadelphia said:

“Our plan since day one has been to offer the U.S. Navy the training capabilities they asked for, without compromise. We are honored to deliver on that promise, build the new fleet in Philadelphia and maintain it from Milton, Florida.”

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it seems nobody was interested in this article, so I will make the first post. erghh this is quite a coup?