9 February 2018
|Bell 412s and UH-1H, PAF Workhorses|
Bell Helicopters of Canada has officially announced that the Government of the Philippines has sealed a purchase agreement for 16 more Bell 412EPI Twin-engine helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Delivery of these twin-engine helicopters would begin in 2019.
The sale signed in December 20 last year is valued at $234.5 million (P12 billion) and is a government-to-government transaction via the Canadian Commercial Corporation to be paid over a three-year period.
Bell helicopters is the workhorse of the Philippine Air Force where it operates older variants of the manufacturer's product, particularly the UH-1H and UH-1D helicopters, which form the backbone of the rotary-winged utility fleet. It received its first two 412s in 1994 for Presidential Transport.
Bell said the additional acquisition will contribute to the modernisation programme of the Philippine military.
The company earlier delivered eight new frames to the Philippines in 2015. At present, PAF operates ten Bell 412s eight of which are 412EP units delivered in 2015. Of the latter batch, two are used for executive transport while six are operated by the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.
The brand new helicopters for the Philippine Department of National Defense will be ‘fully configured with fly-by-wire system and equipped with advanced avionics,’ Bell said in a press release.
Sameer Rehman, managing director of Bell Helicopter Asia-Pacific, said the PAF’s new 412EPIs will be used for SAR, humanitarian assistance, utility and passenger transport.