Boeing wins contract for seven additional MH-139A “Grey Wolf” helicopters

The MH-139A Grey Wolf was unveiled and named during the ceremony at Duke Field, Fla., Dec. 19, 2019. (U.S Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) awarded Boeing a $178 million contract to manufacture seven additional MH-139A ‘Grey Wolf’ helicopters, along with maintenance and training services, bringing the total number of aircraft on order to 26. The USAF plans to procure up to 84 MH-139A Grey Wolf from Boeing to replace its aging fleet of Vietnam-era UH-1N Huey helicopters.

“Building the Grey Wolf fleet and paving the way towards full rate production is a critical step in supporting the Air Force’s modernization priorities,” said Azeem Khan, MH-139 program director. “Equipping the Air Force with this critical capability is important to their mission protecting vital national assets.”

The award comes shortly after the first production helicopter made its initial flight in December 2023. With that aircraft currently undergoing additional testing and other aircraft in various stages of production, Boeing is on track to deliver the first LRIP aircraft to the Air Force this summer.

The MH-139 Grey Wolf: A Multi-Mission Powerhouse

The MH-139 is a multi-mission helicopter designed for patrol, search and rescue, and troop and cargo transport. Based on Leonardo Helicopters’ proven AW139 and fitted with Boeing-customized military equipment, the MH-139 incorporates advanced, state-of-the-art technology that enables operators to complete missions quickly, quietly, efficiently and safely.

The primary mission of the USAF’s new fleet of Grey Wolf helicopters will be to patrol and secure intercontinental nuclear missile bases. As these are in remote locations, and because of the particular type of mission, the MH-139A’s range and speed were determining factors in winning the competition. Other missions currently assigned to the UH-1Ns will also be performed by the Grey Wolves, including search and rescue at remote bases and transporting key government VIPs to safety during crises.

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