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Air Platforms

USAF prepares to stand-up MH-139A testing unit

09 December 2019
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The US Air Force (USAF) is to stand-up its first testing unit for the Boeing MH-139A helicopter, ahead of the type's arrival later in December.

The USAF is to replace its ageing UH-1N helicopters with the MH-139A, pictured. (Boeing)The USAF is to replace its ageing UH-1N helicopters with the MH-139A, pictured. (Boeing)

Detachment 7 will be formally created at Duke Field, Florida, later in the month, before relocating to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, to perform additional testing and evaluation of the aircraft.

As the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) announced on 6 December, Detachment 7 will work closely with Air Force Materiel Command's 413th Flight Test Squadron - the USAF's only dedicated helicopter test unit - as the service begins the process of transitioning its Bell UH-1N Huey forces over to the MH-139A.

With the first of 84 MH-139As (a US-built variant of the AgustaWestland AW139) being delivered to Detachment 7 in the coming days, the second aircraft will arrive in mid-January 2020. The third and fourth aircraft are scheduled to arrive in February 2020.

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