The US Navy has initiated an instructor pilot training programme with TH-73A Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS).

The programme commenced with two instructor pilots from Training Air Wing (TAW) 5 at the AgustaWestland Philadelphia (Leonardo) facility.

Under the training, pilots will receive first-hand experience in operating the TH-73A AHTS.

The new system is scheduled to reach Initial Operational Capability next year.

TH-73A AHTS is designed to provide necessary training to the next generations of rotary and tilt-rotor pilots for the US and select allied nations, and to further bolster naval aviation capabilities.

In January this year, AgustaWestland Philadelphia (Leonardo) secured a $176.5m contract to manufacture 32 TH-73A helicopters.

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Overall, the contract values $648.1m for the procurement of 130 helicopters.

The contract also included the delivery of initial spares, support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, data in excess of Commercial Form Fit Function (FFF) / Operations Maintenance Instructional Training (OMIT) Data.

AgustaWestland Philadelphia (Leonardo) is also responsible for providing ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training.

The procurement is expected to meet advanced rotary wing and intermediate tilt-rotor training requirements for the navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard until 2050.

These new helicopters will replace the older TH-57s, which lack appropriate cockpit avionics and aircraft performance capability.

Recently, Triumph Group announced support for the US Navy Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) programme. The company will supply mechanical controls.