The MH-139 is based on the Leonardo AW139 and is modified with mission-specific equipment, systems, and armament by prime contractor Boeing.
Features include an open-architecture glass cockpit, weather radar, enhanced ground proximity warning, radar altimeter, engine IR signature reduction, and military UHF/satcoms.
Modifications will include defensive systems such as chaff/flares and missile warning, cockpit and cabin ballistic protection, and crashworthy, self-sealing fuel tanks. AFGSC aircraft will be optionally armed with cabin-mounted 7.62 mm M240 machine guns.
USAF awarded Boeing the $2.4 billion UH-1N replacement contract on Sept 24, 2018, following cancellation of the earlier Common Vertical Lift Support Program (CVLSP). Requirements were driven by the MH-139’s primary ICBM-field security and support role, but it will eventually replace UH-1Ns in the DV lift and aircrew survival training roles as well.
The service plans to procure up to 84 MH-139s through FY27, basing 30 at Andrews, 11 each at F. E. Warren, Kirtland (schoolhouse), Malmstrom, Minot, and four each at Fairchild and Yokota, retaining two for integration work at Eglin. Since the commercial AW139 is a mature system, developmental testing will be streamlined and tests will focus largely on ability to meet mission requirements.
Two of the initial four airframes arrived at Duke Field in late 2019, and the first developmental test flight took to the air Feb. 11, 2020. Operational testing begins in FY21 and live-fire and aircraft survivability/self-defensive tests are ongoing.
USAF plans to procure eight aircraft per year starting in FY21, with full-rate production ramping up to 15 aircraft per year starting in 2023. The service announced Maxwell is its preferred MH-139 formal training location, and Malmstrom will be the first operational location.
Contractors: Boeing (prime contractor); Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) (airframe); Honeywell (avionics).
First Flight: 2019.
Delivered: Dec. 19, 2019-present
IOC: 2023 (planned).
Production: 84 (planned).
Operator: AFMC. Planned: AETC, Air Force District of Washington, AFGSC, PACAF.
Aircraft Location: Duke Field, Fla. Planned: Fairchild AFB, Wash.; F. E. Airman 1st Class Davis Donaldson Samuel King Jr./USAF Warren AFB, Wyo.; JB Andrews, Md.; Kirtland AFB, N.M.; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; Maxwell AFB, Ala.; Minot AFB, N.D.; Yokota AB, Japan.
Active Variant: •MH-139A. Military version of the Agusta-Westland AW139 for utility support and light lift.
Dimensions: Rotor diameter 45.2 ft, length 54.7 ft, height 16.3 ft.
Weight: Max gross 14,110 lb.
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboshaft, each 1,100 shp.
Performance: Speed 167 mph, range 890 miles.
Ceiling: 20,000 ft.
Armament: Two M240 7.62 mm machine guns (mission dependent).
Accommodation: Two pilots, flight engineer.
Load: 15 passengers (depending on fuel, equipment, and atmospheric conditions) or up to four litters and five medical personnel.