Philippine Air Force is set to receive Bell 412EP helicopters from Bell Helicopter Canada this coming August. “We are looking at the minimum delivery of two units to a maximum of six,” Department of National Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said in an interview with the government news agency.
Helicopter designers at Bell who manufacture the 412EP helicopters are in the forefront to deliver these well designed copters to the Argentinean army will deliver 4 of these helicopters increasing the foreign military sales by $2.7 million, see this for the complete picture of the twin engine helicopter with a composite four blade rotor. The training has to be imparted to fly this Pratt & Whitney twin pac jet engine for enhanced performance.
This dual digital automatic flight control system averages an approximate of more than 166,000 hours of flight time which is highly reliable including in between shutdown time. The modern glass cockpit is extremely spacious to accommodate 2 crew members and is capable to operate in extreme climatic conditions. The wide doors enable the cargo to be loaded easily and accommodate around 14 passengers in the helicopter, is a daily work horse. The most challenging situation is how much the helicopter can fly when it runs out of fuel, which is high in this case up to 357 nautical miles, with cargo, passenger’s up to 5000 pounds of weight.
The totally automatic digital controls add in to the easy operation and reduce the work load of the pilot; these air assets can conduct assault support and close air support operation well making it in the desirable list of nation’s military support. Manila is increasing its air space assets by increasing the number of Bell 412ep from 2 to 6 helicopters during August as a part of its modernization and lift capability in the Philippines Air Force. Since transportation of military weapons is a challenge when it comes to phase out the older helicopters, this new fleet is a direct government to government acquisition.
The government entered into a government-to-government transaction with Canada through Candian Commercial Corporation for the procurement of eight Bell 412EP helicopters worth PhP4.8 billion. The contract was signed March 2014.
“Three of these eight helicopters will be configured as VIP helicopters for the coming APEC meet in September,” Manalo said.
Five units will be configured as combat utility helicopters, also capable for relief operations, to beef up transport and lift capability of the Air Force.