Leonardo has announced that AgustaWestland Philadelphia has been awarded a contract modification to manufacture and deliver additional 26 TH-73A training helicopters for the US Navy.

The estimated value of this firm-fixed price modification contract is approximately $110.5m.

This is the Lot-IV production and delivery option being exercised as part of a previously awarded contract for TH-73A Thrasher rotorcraft.

According to a US Department of Defense’s (DoD) announcement, the new contract option also involves providing associated data to support the US Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System programme.

The contract is being managed by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, US.

Production of TH-73A helicopters will be carried out solely at Leonardo’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified Part 21 Production line in Philadelphia of Pennsylvania.

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However, the DoD informed that some part of the associated work will also be performed in Mineral Wells, Texas and locations outside the continental US.

The overall work under new contract is slated to complete by December 2024.

The TH-73A helicopter is used by the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to provide training to the next generation of student aviators.

Leonardo said that the first 12 students have already started their training on the TH-73A platform earlier in September. This batch of 12 trainee aviators have also completed their inaugural solo flight in November.

An initial $176m contract for delivery of 32 TH-73A helicopters for the US Navy was awarded to Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia, in January 2020. It also included delivery of spares, equipment, support and associated maintenance/pilot training services.

The initial contract was followed by a $171 Lot-II contract modification for 36 helicopters in November 2020 and a $159.4m Lot-III contract option for 36 TH-73A in December 2021.