At a ceremony on its Philadelphia (PA) campus, Leonardo Helicopters officially handed over the first TH-73A training helicopter to the US Navy on 10 June 2021.
The helicopter, coded E-610 (BuNo yet unknown) of Training Air Wing (TAW) FIVE ('E-xxx'), will soon be delivered to NAS Whiting Field (FL). Originally Leonardo planned to deliver the first TH-73A late April 2021.
The TH-73A will rapidly replace the ageing TH-57B/C Sea Rangers of the training wing in a USD 648,1 million contract. Within four years, all Sea Rangers are expected to be replaced.
The multi-year contract is for 130 TH-73As, with already two sub contracts exercised; an initial contract in January 2020 for 32 helicopters valued at USD 177 million and a second contract in November 2020 for 36 helicopters valued at USD 171 million.
The US Navy plans to sundown the TH-57B/C fleet in Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024 (so by September 2024 latest). The TH-73As are expected to operate within TAW-5 for some thirty years.
Leonardo Helicopters will open a 100,000 square ft centre in Milton (FL) to provide customer support and maintenance services at Whiting Aviation Park, located directly across the airfield from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field where the TH-73 fleet will operate.
Photo by Leonardo Helicopters