The US Air Force Global Strike Command named the MH-139A helicopter ‘Grey Wolf’ during a naming ceremony held this week.

According to a release from the force, General Timothy Ray made the announcement, comparing it to the wild animal that bears the same name.

The Grey Wolf is reportedly the first major acquisition for the command in its 10-year history. The name Grey Wolf is derived from the wild species that roams the northern tier of North America, which also encompasses the intercontinental ballistic missile bases in AFGSC.

“It strikes fear in the hearts of many,” Ray said.

“Its range is absolutely inherent to the ICBM fields we have. As they hunt as a pack, they attack as one, they bring the force of many. That’s exactly how you need to approach the nuclear security mission.”

The helicopters will provide security and support for the nation’s ICBM fields which span Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska.

The US Air Force say that the new helicopter closes the capability gaps of the UH-1N Huey in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload and survivability in support of the command’s ICBM missions. Other mission capabilities include civil search and rescue, airlift support, National Capital Region missions, as well as survival school and test support.

MH-139A

“The roll out of the new helicopter demonstrates an asset providing ICBM security in support of U.S. Strategic Command’s nuclear deterrence operations aligned with the National Defense Strategy.

The acquisition was contracted through Boeing during a full and open competition at a cost of $2.38 billion for up to 84 aircraft–$1.7 billion under budget. It is the command’s first commercial “off-the-shelf” purchase, adding military-unique modifications.”

The US Air Force will procure up to 84 MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment from Boeing.

The Grey Wolf will replace the UH-1N, which entered the US Air Force in 1970.

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Cam
Cam
9 months ago

Looks kind of like the Augusta Westland aw 139, could that replace the puma?

James Fennell
James Fennell
9 months ago
Reply to  Cam

It is an AW-139, but but built by Boeing in Philadelphia. Boeing and Agusta have a long history of building each others designs.

WatcherZero
WatcherZero
9 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It is being built by Leonardo at their Philadelphia plant to Civilian spec then being handed over complete to Boeing for military conversion.

Cam
Cam
9 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Oh right!

Alex
Alex
9 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

“Boeing and Agusta have a long history of building each others designs.”

The association was more with Bell

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
9 months ago
Reply to  Cam

It would need to be a little bigger. The AW-149 would make more sense as a replacement.

Andy P
Andy P
9 months ago

Colour me cynical about the back story of why they called it “Grey Wolf”, I suspect they just thought it was cool.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Doing their best to kill off the Grey wolf in those States so probably very appropriate a name for a helicopter enabling weapons that if ever used will be doing the same job for humankind.

Helions
Helions
9 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

That was in the past. Although ranchers in the region still blame them for – everything associated with livestock loss – not really true. They have been successfully reintroduced to the point where a few hunting permits are issued to thin the population out of necessity. They’ve started to pop up much further South as well into territory they haven’t occupied in a century. Just give Mother Nature half a chance and she’ll heal herself.

Cheers!

Helions
Helions
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think it has to do with the fact it’s going to be operating in the Northern Tier states of the U.S. where the missile fields are located – Montana, Wyoming, N and S Dakota etc. The Grey Wolf is associated with those states since that’s where the vast majority have their habitat.

Cheers!

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
9 months ago

So close to calling it Airwolf but then again it’d have to go everywhere with that themetune blaring out which would kind of ruin the stealth a bit.

Cam
Cam
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

The tune playing would make the enemy shit their pants though! A helicopter that can take on an Army and win.

Andy P
Andy P
9 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I see your Air Wolf and raise you…. the tune that would really put the bejezus up folk with a bunch of paraffin parrots going at them. It has to be Ride of the Valkeries. Especially if they don’t surf.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlsfM2BmsJU

Herodotus
9 months ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Grey Wolf…’they hunt in packs and strike fear into the hearts of many’. Pretentious Hollywood bullshit!

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
9 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Go on…it’s Christmas.

Steve R
Steve R
9 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Sounds like a line from a particularly bad Michael Bay movie!

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
9 months ago

9 submarines one week, 80+ helicopters the next.

Different world.

Airborne
Airborne
9 months ago

84 Aircraft for just security and support of one capability! Damn we could only dream.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
9 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hi Airborne,

Yeh, they’re spending more on the these helos than we are on the T31 programme, if I’ve my currency conversion right.

OldSchool
OldSchool
9 months ago

Well good luck to the US of A. Admittedly the UK doesn’t need such – having no land based ICBM’s to protect so we have a saving….better inform Treasury LOL.
The US spends north of 3% GDP too. We could do better – my place to look for savings would be in education. Modern education is IMHO appallingly wasteful and inefficent – chalk and talk schooling cheap and actually worked!

md_pepa
md_pepa
9 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Instead of education, just cut military benefits inline with commercial terms, probably saving 1bn a year. Open both the delivery, execution of services and force projection to commercial entities. This would make enough savings.

I was pleased to hear that you no longer had to walk 10k miles as plod before you could become a senior police officer. That’s not to say there is no place for operational experience, it’s just not the full picture. The legacy organisational culture of many of our state functions is more of a union/religion than a focussed business.

Airborne
Airborne
9 months ago
Reply to  md_pepa

Very few military benefits left mate!

Steve R
Steve R
9 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Problem is that doesnt help when kids need to be computer savvy these days. Anyone who doesnt know how to use a computer now and in the future is going to be very , very limited in life. My girlfriend’s friend cant use a computer at age 36 and means she basically cant apply for jobs apart from crap factory ones. We need to invest more, in education terms, in the STEM subjects- science, technology, engineering and maths. Reinvigorate our non-service industries. Also, from a defence viewpoint, it’s only going to become more computerised and high tech, from cyber defence… Read more »

OldSchool
OldSchool
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Steve R. I understand what you are saying but I admit I beg to differ somewhat. PC skills are a means not an end. I was exposed to mainframe computers in my mid- late twenties. Not so difficult to pick up, and to desktop PC’s in my early thirties. Again no prior – you dont need to be an Einstein to use a PC. What I did have was an analytical mindset. As for PC’s in education – they are not a substitute for the three RRR’s or cultivating good planning and analytical skills. Furthermore evidence shows this. Australia may… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
9 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

You’re right in that PCs in education are not a substitute for the 3Rs, but they are not supposed to be. The Three Rs are supposed to be the basic staple of education, but computers are a fact of life, everything is becoming more computerised and things previously done offline or on paper are now done online. Whereas the Three Rs are the basic staple of education, there are basic staples of computing that every child in the UK should know: emails, basic internet navigation, Word and Excel. The cold fact is that anyone now who doesn’t know how to… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
9 months ago

more like cry wolf.

andy reeves
andy reeves
9 months ago

cry wolf?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago

Morning.

So what is wrong with this as a Puma replacement?

I have read both for and against on UKDJ over the years.

Herodotus
9 months ago

Excellent aircraft…no issues….no money in the kitty!

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
9 months ago

The AW149 makes more sense as a Puma replacement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Ah! Thanks. I am not up on my 139’s and 149’s.

Herodotus
9 months ago

It would seem to be all gloom and doom in Pompey according to this stem article from the Times!

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/admirals-thrown-to-sharks-as-top-heavy-navy-tries-to-cut-costs-bhwm5d856

Andy
Andy
9 months ago

Off topic: I see we just let go FIVE admirals, just the THIRTY SEVEN left now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy it is not as simple as that. First, and being picky but it is relevant, they are Rear Admirals, not Admirals. 2 Star not 4. Secondly, and I have not counted them but maybe your are right and there are 37 “Admirals” Those positions are throughout defence, not purely fleet. Third. An organisation such as the Armed Forces and the MoD behind it has literally hundreds of organisations and directorates that require a responsible owner/leader of a certain rank. That is reality. Many are headed by Civil Service posts, many are not. A military does not run itself. Putting… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago

Correcting myself, having got home to check – Two Vice Admirals, not one. 2SL and Fleet Commander, both 3 Star. 1SL who is the Admiral is more often than not at MoD MB and elsewhere.

Andy
Andy
9 months ago

Indeed, I jumped to the conclusion these were Fleet.

Herodotus
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy

The Times seems to be running hard with these defence cuts stories. Probably the paper to watch in the coming months….especially if Max Hastings is writing for them!