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Boeing has submitted its bid to the US Air Force (USAF) for a programme to replace the service's ageing fleet of UH-1N Huey helicopters.

The company has submitted the proposal to provide up to 84 MH-139s to protect the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and meet certain domestic military transport needs.

Boeing launched MH-139 helicopter at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in March for the UH-1N Replacement Program.

The acquisition of MH-139 helicopters is expected to save more than $1bn in acquisition costs and lifecycle expenses, while a contract is expected to be awarded next year.

The MH-139 helicopter is based on Leonardo Helicopters' modern, non-developmental, multi-mission helicopter, AW139.

Close to 900 AW139s are currently in service with more than 250 governments, militaries and companies across the world.

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By GlobalData
"The acquisition of MH-139 helicopters is expected to save more than $1bn in acquisition costs and lifecycle expenses."

The UH-1N light-lift utility helicopter is being used to support various missions since its entry into service in 1970. Its primary missions include airlifting emergency security forces, security and surveillance of off-base nuclear weapons convoys, as well as distinguished visitor airlifting.

The Huey is also used for disaster response operations, search-and-rescue, medical evacuation, airborne cable inspections, support to aircrew survival school, aerial testing, routine missile site support, and transport.

It is assigned to the Air Force Global Strike Command, 90th Missile Wing, FE Warren AFB, Wyoming, US, the 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Montana, US, and the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota, US.

Other units include 1st Helicopter Squadron, Andrews AFB, Maryland, US, 36th Rescue Flight, Fairchild AFB, Washington, US, and the 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota AB, Japan. It has also been assigned to the 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida, US, and the 512th Rescue Squadron, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, US.

Image: Boeing has submitted a proposal to the USAF to provide up to 84 MH-139 helicopters to protect the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and for domestic military transport needs. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.