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The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) took delivery of eight Bell 412EP medium twin-engine helicopters in August 2015. The helicopters are manufactured by Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, as per the DND’s modernisation requirements.
Five of eight Bell 412s will be assigned to the Philippine Air Force’s 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing for use in combat utility and human assistance disaster relief (HADR) operations. The remaining three, which are configured for VVIP transportation, will be assigned to the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing.
The Bell 412EP can also be configured for a wide range of missions such as law enforcement, special operations, homeland security, VIP transportation, oil and gas, and emergency medical service.
The base version Bell 412 helicopters have been in service with the Sri Lanka Air Force since December 2011.
Orders and deliveries
Bell Helicopter finalised a PHP4.8bn ($107.9m) purchase agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) for the supply of eight Bell 412EP helicopters to the Philippine DND in April 2014. Deliveries began in June 2015 and concluded in August 2015.
The Philippine DND negotiated the contract with the CCC under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was announced in November 2012 for the purchase of defence and military-related materials and services.
Bell 412EP helicopter design and features
The Bell 412EP helicopter features all-composite four-blade main rotor system, two-blade tail rotor, skid-type landing gear, semi-monocoque tail boom, and aluminium alloy fuselage. It can execute missions both during day and at night.
The spacious cabin, with a volume of 6.2m³, is designed to provide comfortable seating for 13 passengers. It is equipped with two 2.3m jettisonable doors and four large panoramic windows. The baggage compartment in tail boom has a volume of 0.8m³ and can be easily configured to house a variety of mission-specific equipment.
The internal and external maximum gross weights of the helicopter are 5,398kg each. The empty weight is 3,159kg in instrument flight rules (IFR) standard configuration. The helicopter can carry a useful load of 2,239kg and is attached with a cargo hook to carry loads up to 2,041kg.
The modern, glass cockpit accommodates two crew members and has an option for single pilot IFR operation. It is fitted with two side doors and glass windshields.
The three-axis, dual digital automatic flight control system (AFCS) enables safe and easy operation while reducing the pilot workload. The avionics include multi-functional displays, VHF antenna, VHF transceiver, magnetic compass, distance measuring equipment, transponder, airspeed indicator, and altimeter.
The cockpit can be optionally fitted with four-axis dual digital AFCS, helicopter terrain avoidance warning system (H-TAWS), automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), air data computer, emergency locator transmitter and traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS).
The fuselage is fitted with rollover bulkhead protection for the occupants. The crashworthy, energy-absorbing crew seats ensure pilot safety and comfort. The transmission system uses chip detector and debris collection to provide early failure detection.
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The Bell 412EP’s safety features also include rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire strike protection system, dual digital flight control, and dual redundant electrical, hydraulic and fuel systems.
Propulsion and performance of the twin-engine helicopter
The Bell 412EP helicopter is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3D Twin Pac® engines, which have a generating capacity of 1,800shp each. The engines are coupled to a 1,110shp transmission unit.
The helicopter has a standard fuel capacity of 1,251l and can optionally carry 621l of auxiliary fuel. It is fitted with Strake and FastFin, both developed by BLR Aerospace, for improved hover and cross-wind performance.
The powerplant provides a maximum cruise speed of 226km/h, a never-exceed speed of 259km/h and a range of 358nm. The helicopter’s IGE and OGE hover ceilings are 3,109m and 1,585m respectively, service ceiling is 4,968m and endurance is 216 minutes.
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