Navy Selects AgustaWestland to Supply TH-73A Helos and Training
The U.S. Navy selected AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, a Leonardo company, to produce 32 TH-73A helicopters in support of the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) program, according to a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announcement. Under the $176,472,608 firm-fixed-price contract, the company will deliver the aircraft, initial spares, support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, data, and ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training.
The Navy reported that the contract was awarded on a best-value tradeoff basis with a base-year and three one-year options. The base year contract will provide the 32 aircraft, while the total contract value is $648.1 million, for the procurement of 130 aircraft. Helicopter deliveries are scheduled to begin in calendar year 2020 and will continue through calendar year 2024. Fiscal year 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $176,472,608 were obligated at time of the award, the Defense Department reported.
“Today marks a great team effort to procure and deliver a helicopter trainer for the next generation of helicopter and tilt-rotor pilots for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard,” said James "Hondo" Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. “I’m proud of the aggressive work the team did to leverage the commercial industrial base to get this capability to the warfighters, and our nation, at the best value to the taxpayer. This effort is key to ensure the readiness of our Naval Aviators for decades to come.”
The new helicopter will meet advanced rotary wing and intermediate tilt-rotor training requirements for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard through 2050, the Navy said. The helicopters will be manufactured in United States with in the contractor’s FAA Part 21 facility in Philadelphia, from assembly through Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness certification. Work also will be performed in Mineral Wells, Texas (5%) and various locations outside the continental United States (8%).
The contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; five offers were received. Personnel from NAVAIR and the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) supported the source selection process, the service said.
“The new Leonardo TH-73A helicopters are the cornerstone of AHTS, which is the planned replacement to address the capability and capacity gaps of the current aging TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter training platform,” said Capt. Todd St. Laurent, USN, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) program manager. “The TH-73A will provide a modern helicopter training platform that will serve rotary and tiltrotor training requirements into the foreseeable future. These new helicopters will ensure the Navy has capacity to train several hundred aviation students per year at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.” PMA-273, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, oversees the AHTS effort.