The Navy recently awarded Leonardo’s AgustaWestland a $111 million modification, exercising an option to produce another 26 TH-73A Thrasher Lot IV training helicopters.
AgustaWestland first won an initial $176 million contract for 32 TH-73As in January 2020 after winning a competition for the next Navy helicopter trainer for the Advanced Helicopter Training Systems. The TH-73A is based on the company’s TH-110 helicopter, based on the AgustaWestland AW109 Trekker (Defense Daily, Jan. 13, 2020).
The latest option was awarded on Dec. 23 and covers production and delivery of the 26 helicopters and related data in support of the Advanced Helicopter Training System program.
Work will largely occur in Philadelphia, Pa. (80 percent) and is expected to be finished by December 2024.
In November 2020 the Navy ordered a second lot of 26 helicopter and in December 2021 the company won a $159 million modification for 36 TH-73As in Lot III (Defense Daily, Dec. 20, 2021).
The Navy is procuring the TH-73A to replace the legacy fleet of TH-57 Sea Rangers to train all Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard rotorcraft pilots. The new trainers will be based out of Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla.
Leonardo delivered the first new TH-73A in June 2021 (Defense Daily, June 10, 2021).
The company noted in September the first 12 students started training on the TH-73A Thrasher, with the first students completing their inaugural solo flights in November.