US101 becomes H-71, but why?

Lockheed Martin’s US101, better known in Europe as the AgustaWestland EH101 and winner of the prestigious US Navy VXX presidential helicopter competition, has been officially designated the VH-71A. As the last helicopter to receive an official US military designation was AgustaWestland’s A109, operated by the US Coast Guard as the MH-68A Enforcer, that begs the question “what happened to the H-69 and H-70?”. An informative website,, may have the answer. In its section on missing US Department of Defense designations, the website speculates that H-69 has not been assigned because of its sexual overtones, while H-70 may have been skipped to avoid confusion with Sikorsky’s S-70 – the export version of the H-60 family. The US101, meanwhile, is competing for the US Air Force’s CSAR-X combat search-and-rescue requirement. If it wins, it will presumably become the MH-71B.

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