Leonardo Helicopters delivered the first TH-73A training helicopter to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony at its facility in Philadelphia on Thursday. The TH-73A is expected to replace the Navy’s fleet of TH-57 Sea Ranger trainers, which will be phased out beginning in fiscal year 2022. The Navy has ordered a total of 130 TH-73A helicopters with deliveries scheduled to continue through 2024.
“The TH-73A will be instrumental in providing higher fidelity training to our future rotary-wing and tilt-rotor aviators for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard,” said Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces. “The cutting-edge technology and advanced avionics within the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) will enable a more seamless transition from the training aircraft to fleet aircraft, this in turn allows more focus on high end warfighting development and training.”
The TH-73A is based on the IFR variant of the commercial AW119Kx. It is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT-6 engine and features dual safety and hydraulic systems along with digital avionics by Genesys Aerosystems. Leonardo is also planning to open a 100,000-square-foot customer support and maintenance center near Florida’s Naval Air Station Whiting Field where the TH-73 fleet will operate.