Bell Helicopter has finalised a purchase agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) to supply Bell 412EP helicopters to address the modernisation requirements of Philippine Department of National Defense (DND).
Under the $105m contract, Bell will supply eight 412 EP helicopters, of which five will be configured for combat utility operations, including relief efforts, whereas the remaining aircraft are scheduled to be modified for VIP transportation.
The contract was signed under the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between CCC and the DND for the acquisition of defence and military related materials and services, announced by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in November 2012.
Bell Helicopter Asia Pacific region managing director CM Hwang said the company is honoured with selection of Bell Helicopter to fulfill Philippine DND’s mission requirements.
"We are also grateful for the long-term trust that the Philippine Government and DND have placed in Bell Helicopter to upgrade and improve mission capabilities," Hwang said.
Philippine Department of National Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said the Bell 412EP selection was based on its versatility and performance in extreme environments.
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"We are looking forward to the delivery of the first three aircraft in time for the Philippines to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015," Manalo said.
CCC president and CEO Marc Whittingham said, "This latest contract with the Philippine Government highlights the long history of collaboration between the CCC and Bell Helicopter to provide cost-effective government-to-government contracting solutions for highly advanced aerospace products."
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has been operating derivatives of the Bell UH-1H helicopters since the late 1960s, and received their first two Bell 412s in 1994.
With a cruise speed of 140k and 358NM range, the Bell 412EP offers dual digital automatic flight control system with available IFR option and excellent Category A/JAR OPS 3 capability, and is designed to reliably perform in extreme climates worldwide.
Image: A Los Angeles City Fire Department Air Operations Squadron’s Bell 412EP helicopter in flight. Photo: courtesy of Christian Valle.