US Navy to acquire 26 TH-73A ‘Thrasher’ helicopters

A Leonardo TH-73A Thrasher helicopter acquired by the US Navy
Photo Credit: Leonardo

LONDON – Leonardo has welcomed an announcement made by the U.S. Department of Defense to award AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp. a USD$110.5 million firm-fixed price modification to the previously awarded contract for the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System.

This modification exercises an option for the production and delivery of 26 TH-73A Lot IV aircraft in support of the program for the Navy.

The helicopters will be produced in Philadelphia. Work is expected to be completed in December 2024.

Background Information

In January 2020, Leonardo, through AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., was awarded a firm fixed-price contract valued at $176 million for the production and delivery of an initial 32 TH-73A helicopters.

The contract included spares, support, dedicated equipment and specific pilot/maintenance training services.

 In November 2020, a second lot of 36 aircraft were ordered through a $171 million USD contract modification and in December 2021, a third lot of 36 aircraft were ordered through a 159.4 million USD contract modification.

The TH-73A, made solely at Leonardo’s FAA-certified Part 21 Production line in Philadelphia, PA, will train the next generation of student aviators from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

In September of 2022, the first twelve students began training on the TH-73A, now nicknamed the “Thrasher” by the U.S. Navy.

And in November 2022, the first of those students completed their inaugural solo flights.

About the TH-73A Thrasher

The TH-73A Thrasher is a derivative of the commercial Leonardo TH-119 single-engine instrument flight rules (IFR) helicopter.

As part of the Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS), the TH-73A will serve as the training platform for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard rotary wing training, and it will provide the rotary wing portion of training for all Navy and Marine Corps tilt-rotor aviators.

The helicopters will replace the 35 year-old TH-57 Sea Ranger Helicopter training system and will meet advanced rotary wing and intermediate tilt-rotor training requirements for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard through 2050.

The TH-73A improves pilot training and skills by using current cockpit technologies and modernized training curriculum that reflect the capabilities in the current Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard inventory.

Using a skills-based approach to training with just-in-time methodology, incorporating modern technology, the TH-73A will ensure Rotary Wing Aviators are produced at a higher quality, more efficiently, ready to meet the challenges faced in the fleet.

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