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Iraqi Bell 407 helicopters to get avionics upgrade

An IA-407 flies over northern Iraq during operations against the Islamic State extremist group in November 2016. (AFP via Getty Images)

The US Army is looking for a contractor to install Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFISs) made by Genesys Aerosystems on the Bell 407 helicopter fleet operated by the Iraqi Army Aviation Command (IAAC), according to a notice published via the US government's System for Award Management website on 30 November.

The EFIS will be the IDU-450, a product that Genesys says significantly reduces pilot workload while increasing situational awareness with features that include 3D synthetic vision, highway-in-the-sky navigation, and a terrain alerting and warning system.

The notice said the EFIS will be installed on 18 IA-407 and three T-407 helicopters at the IAAC's Tajibase north of Baghdad within a year of the contract being awarded.

The IAAC received three T-407s in 2010 for training purposes followed by 24 IA-407s in 2012–13. Used extensively by the IAAC to support counter-insurgency operations, the IA-407 is equipped with an electro-optical system and armed with forward-firing .50 calibre machine guns and rocket pods.

The IAAC subsequently acquired an unconfirmed number of 407GX helicopters, with the US Department of Defense extending Bell's maintenance contract to include the new type in June 2017.

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