NAVAIR Signs Contract for First Seven New Build UH-1Y Helicopters

Patuxent River, MD – A contract for the first seven completely new build UH-1Y helicopters was signed July 20, the Naval Air Systems Command announced today.

The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics convened a Defense Acquisition Board May 31 to conduct a thorough review of the H-1 Upgrade Program. This acquisition board authorized the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition [ASN (RDA)] to release the third Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP III) Acquisition Decision Memorandum once the Lot 3 aircraft contract had been finalized. ASN (RDA) signed the memorandum July 13.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) subsequently signed the Lot 3 aircraft contract for $137.4 million with Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., for seven UH-1Y aircraft, a UH-1Y full flight simulator and supporting maintenance training systems.

 “We begin deliveries to government test squadrons in November and to the Marine Corps H-1 training squadron HMT-303 in February 2007.”“This is another significant milestone in the H-1 Upgrade program and brings us that much closer to fielding this critical capability to the fleet Marines who are awaiting these tremendously capable aircraft,” said Col. Keith Birkholz, H-1 program manager at NAVAIR. “We begin deliveries to government test squadrons in November and to the Marine Corps H-1 training squadron HMT-303 in February 2007.”

“The first Fleet Marine Corps squadron detachment begins training in January 2008 to meet the initial operational capability milestone by September 2008,” he added.

Currently there are sixteen aircraft under contract from Lots 1 and 2, ten UH-1Ys and six AH-1Zs. Six UH-1Ys and six AH-1Zs are in final assembly at the Bell Production Assembly Center, Amarillo, Texas.

The first AH-1Z began the last phase of final assembly, known as Water Test and Paint, July 20, which represents the last event before the aircraft transitions to Flight Operations at the Bell Amarillo facility. Bell reports to be on schedule to make the first deliveries in October 2006.

Of the work to be performed under the latest contract, 80 percent will take place in Hurst, Texas and 20 percent will be completed in Amarillo, Texas. All work under the latest contract is expected to be completed by September 2008.


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