Air Force accepts ownership of four Grey Wolf helicopters

The U.S. Air Force accepted ownership of four MH-139A Grey Wolf test aircraft in mid-August, according to the service.

Weeks prior, Boeing completed the final U.S. Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certification, which is required for the helicopter to achieve its military flight release.

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The Grey Wolf is the replacement helicopter for the UH-1N Huey in use at intercontinental ballistic missile bases, including Malmstrom Air Force Base.

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Malmstrom is set to be the first base to receive the new helicopters.

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The Air Force is in the testing phase of the new helicopters and before taking ownership of these four aircraft, they underwent an acceptance test conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command’s Detachment 7 and 413th Flight Test Squadron pilots, according to the service.

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The Air Force will acquire 80 MH-139A helicopters, training devices and associated support equipment. The MH-139A will provide vertical airlift and support to four Air Force major commands and other operating agencies including AFGSC, Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Reserve Command, and the Air Force District of Washington.

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Development of the aircraft had been delayed in recent years.

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In December 2019, the Air Force established Detachment 7, the unit that will support testing and evaluation of the new helicopter.

The detachment will work in conjunction with Air Force Materiel Command’s 413th Flight Test Squadron, which is the Air Force’s only dedicated rotary test unit. Detachment 7 brings aircrew manning to the test effort and is comprised of pilots and special mission aviators, according to an Air Force release.

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The unit will operated in temporary administrative and hangar facilities at Duke Field until it moves to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls to perform additional testing and evaluation of the helicopter, according to the release.