Vertex Aerospace has received a contract from the US Navy for the base year of Contractor Logistics and Maintenance Support (CLS) for the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) programme.

The AHTS programme aims to improve pilot training and skills using current technologies.

According to US Naval Air Systems Command, the task order contract for CLS was awarded on a ‘best-value trade-off basis’.

Received on 2 March, the contract is valued at $71.37m. It comes with six options, which, if exercised, will take the total value to over $471m.

The procurement of CLS includes logistics, maintenance, and supply for both the TH-73A and TH-57 helicopters.

The ‘resultant task order award’ will provide services and materials to provide aircraft maintenance and logistics aircraft support for TH-73A and the TH-57 platforms.

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Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems (PMA-273) programme manager captain Holly Shoger said: “The new Leonardo TH-73A helicopters are the cornerstone of AHTS, which is the planned replacement to address the capability and capacity gaps of the current aging TH-57 Sea Ranger helicopter training platform.

“This contract ensures the navy can successfully maintain the TH-57 helicopters until the TH-73A is operational in the fleet.

“Vertex will ensure the navy has capacity to train several hundred aviation students per year at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.”

CLS availability is slated to start in calendar year 2021 and will run until 2027.