AgustaWestland, December 21, 2005 - AgustaWestland reported on 20th of December that their US139 aircraft, recently offered to fulfill the US Army requirement for a new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), has been completely fitted in LUH configuration and completed its initial series of flights in preparation for the Source Selection Performance Demonstration. Flying out of AgustaWestland facilities in Philadelphia, PA on December 8, 2005, the US139 flew LUH mission profiles, including disaster relief and recovery simulations. "We are extremely pleased and excited by the US139 performance in its first flight in full-up LUH configuration," said Stephen C. Moss, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland North America. "We see it as a demonstration of what we already knew the US139 is ready to meet the demands of the mission and represents the clear best choice for the Army LUH requirement.
The US139 is a customized, non-developmental version of the modern, FAA-certified AB139 helicopter in service worldwide. Conceived out of a 1991 NATO Industrial Advisory Group study on a Future Light Battlefield Helicopter, the aircraft was designed from its inception to replace the UH-1 "Huey and fulfill the Army LUH requirement. The US139 is "fully compliant plus" in that it meets all the requirements listed in the Army request for proposal and, in many cases, exceeds them. Containing significant inherent growth potential, the US139 has the flexibility to meet the demands of present and future LUH missions. "The US139 offers modern, state-of-the-art technology, high reliability, best-in-class speed, large cabin volume, substantial performance margin for mission growth and a hot and increasing production line that can provide the Army with US139 deliveries promptly and risk-free," added Mr. Moss. "At the end the day, the US139's technical superiority and ability to meet today's mission and grow with it into the future, make it the best value and most cost-effective solution for the LUH requirement." "Pairing the technically superior platform with L-3 Integrated Systems team that already provides second-to-none logistics support for the U.S. Army aviation fleet produces a winning combination," said Ed Boyington, Vice President of Federal Programs for L-3/IS. "The US139 is the clear choice for the LUH mission.
Team US139 brings together the unrivalled design and innovation of AgustaWestland and the mission integration and logistical support expertise of L-3. Both companies have a proven track record in the United States with L-3 possessing a superb record of supplying systems and services to the US Army. Prime contractor and helicopter designer AgustaWestland has over 50 years of experience in the U.S., including production and maintenance of U.S. Army helicopters, and is known worldwide for its superior aircraft design, performance, reliability and quality. Principal partner L-3 Communications Integrated Systems will perform final assembly of the US139 and provide contractor logistics support to the fleet. L-3 already provides contractor logistics support for approximately 40% of the U.S. Army aircraft as well as a majority of training platforms used across the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Honeywell provides its modular, state-of-the-art Primus Epic Avionics and Pratt & Whitney the twin PT6C-67C engines. The Army new LUH helicopters will be used to perform and support a variety of missions, including: transportation of personnel and supplies, Generating Force Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), homeland security and civilian agency responses to natural disasters.