Northeast helicopter company awarded new contract

Boeing and Leonardo, the parent company of AgustaWestland at 3050 Red Lion Road, have been given a contract to build as many as 84 UH-1N replacement helicopters.

Flying high: Boeing and Leonardo, the parent company of AgustaWestland at 3050 Red Lion Road, have been given a contract to build as many as 84 UH-1N replacement helicopters. Source: Boeing and Leonardo

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle is celebrating the U.S. Air Force’s announcement to award Boeing and Leonardo, the parent company of AgustaWestland at 3050 Red Lion Road, the contract to build as many as 84 UH-1N replacement helicopters.

A Boyle amendment allowed Boeing-Leonardo to compete openly for the contract through a fair, competitive and open bidding process.

“The Air Force’s announcement is excellent news for the city of Philadelphia, specifically Northeast Philadelphia, and the United States Air Force,” said Boyle, a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Budget committees. “These are 500 jobs that now will be right here in our area. This is a great day for Philadelphia’s hard-working and talented workers.”

Boeing’s MH-139 helicopter derives from the Leonardo AW139 helicopter, which will be assembled at its Red Lion Road plant, with Boeing integrating military-specific components at its facility in Ridley Park.

The UH-1N replacement program is a priority for the Air Force, specifically for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile protection and government and security forces transport missions.

The MH-139 program is valued at $2.4 billion.

“Strong competition drove down costs for the program, resulting in $1.7 billion in savings to the taxpayer,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, a former New Mexico congresswoman.

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said, “We are extremely proud of this outstanding result. Major customers continue to rely on Leonardo to meet the most stringent requirements like the critical mission of protecting missile bases and transporting government personnel and special forces. This selection is also testament to Leonardo as a strong, reliable partner and long-established contributor to the U.S. industry.”

William Hunt, CEO, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, said, “We are happy that the U.S. Air Force has selected our team to deliver a new fleet of Philadelphia-built MH-139s. Our Air Force deserves the best tools; this is the right helicopter for their mission. The more than $125 million investment made by Leonardo in the Philadelphia facility demonstrates that we are fully prepared to execute in support of this contract. We look forward to working with Boeing on this program and we’re committed to deliver according to expectations of the prime contractor, the U.S. government and taxpayers.” ••