Minot AFB to have new helicopters by 2026
New helicopters expected on base by 2026
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that Minot Air Force Base will host MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters with an expected delivery date in 2026, Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, announced Wednesday.
A member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to secure funding for the Grey Wolf helicopters and a new helicopter facility at Minot AFB needed to house the MH-139. Hoeven confirmed that construction on Minot AFB’s new helicopter facility, which will accommodate the MH-139, is expected to start next summer and expected to take about two years to build.
“We’ve worked hard to modernize our nation’s nuclear forces at Minot Air Force and across the country,” Hoeven said. “Given the age of the Huey helicopters, securing these new Grey Wolf helicopters and a facility to house them has been one of my highest priorities for Minot Air Force Base. With the Air Force officially basing the Grey Wolf at Minot Air Force Base, we’re on track to have these new helicopters in Minot in 2026.”
Also a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to ensure the modernization of the nation’s nuclear forces remains on track. This includes replacing the Vietnam-era UH-1N Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.
Hoeven worked to help secure $538 million for the new helicopter fleet in annual appropriations legislation since FY2018. The Senate’s FY2021 defense funding legislation, which was released last week, included an additional $235 million to develop, test and purchase the MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters.
The federal budget includes more than $71 million across fiscal year 2019 and 2020 for a new helicopter facility at Minot AFB. The existing facilities are aging and will not accommodate new helicopters that will replace the eight aging Hueys currently deployed at the base.
The design of the new Helicopter Operations and Tactical Response Force Facility to be constructed at the Minot base features a 127,000-square-foot, three-bay facility, with an option for a fourth bay that would increase size to 133,000 square feet.
It previously was announced that in addition to MAFB, F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming and Malmstrom AFB in Montana will be getting the new helicopters. Minot AFB is expected to receive 11 new helicopters during the course of the change-over.