The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) has signed for 16 new Bell 412EPI medium-lift helicopters to be operated by the country’s air force.
Under the contract, which was announced by the manufacturer on 6 February, the helicopters will be delivered fully configured for the roles of disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport, and utility transport.
As noted by Bell, the helicopters were purchased by the DND through a government-to-government contract with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). Neither a contract value nor a delivery schedule was disclosed.
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) already fields earlier-model Bell 412EP platforms that it ordered in March 2014, as well as 412HP platforms from 1994. The 412EPI improves on both of these earlier models in that it features the Bell BasiX Pro fully integrated 'glass' flight deck. The avionics suite also includes high-resolution digital maps, electronic charts and approach plates, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transponder, optional Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System, and XM satellite links.
As well as the BasiX Pro flight deck, the 412EPI also features the Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines, which are 15% more powerful. When combined with the BLR Aerospace Dual Tailboom Strakes and FastFin System, this extra power increases the helicopter’s ‘hot and high’ lifting capacity by as much as 1,410 lb (640 kg), according to Bell.
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