More Bell 412s for Pakistan’s Military
The Bell 412EP (Enhanced Performance) is a “twin Huey” with a 4-bladed rotor; while it lists as a commercial product on Bell’s site, over 30 militaries around the world employ it as a utility helicopter. Including Pakistan, which has operated 26 Bell 412s since 2007.
The USA has been sending more as “security assistance” aid for the government of Pakistan, and in the wake of huge national floods, a September 2010 DSCA request looks set to turn the 412EP into the mainstay of Pakistan’s utility helicopter fleet…
Contracts & Key Events
Oct 22/10: Reports surface that the USA is preparing a $2 billion military assistance package for Pakistan, including additional helicopters. With respect to Pakistan’s Bell 412s, Defense News reports that:
“[South Asia analyst Brian] Cloughley noted the Canadian military’s problems in Afghanistan with its Canadian-built variant, the CH-146 Griffon, and the political debate over its suitability. But he concluded that the Bell 412 was a “good enough aircraft, but it has its limitations, especially in hot and dry” environments, and said, “On balance, the PA [Pakistan Army] could do worse.”
The Army has made no public criticism of the Bell 412… The Bell 412, which has night-vision technology, has been used extensively by units such as the Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) during nocturnal operations. The SOTF was raised with American help to hunt for al-Qaida and Taliban elements along the Afghan-Pakistan border.”
Sept 15/10: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Pakistan’s formal request to buy up to 30 Bell 412EP Helicopters, along with spare and repair parts, support equipment, ferry services, air worthiness certification, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, and other forms of U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost once a contract is negotiated is up to $397 million, and the prime contractor would be Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, TX.
Pakistan, which already has Bell 412EP Helicopters in its inventory, “will have no difficulty absorbing these additional helicopters into its armed forces.” Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U. S. Government personnel in country, but 2 U.G. Government personnel will travel to Pakistan 2 times per year, for 1 week per trip, for a period of up to 5 years, to provide logistic support services.
May 18/10: Well, that was fast. The United States government delivers 2 Bell 412 EP helicopters to the Government of Pakistan during a signing ceremony at Qasim Army Air Base near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. US Embassy, Pakistan.
April 30/10: Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. in Hurst, TX receives a $23.2 million firm-fixed-price contract to buy 2 commercial Bell Helicopter 412EPs, along with logistical support, spare parts package, special tools, and training. Work is to be performed in Quebec, Canada (88%), Piney Flats, TN (8%), and Fort Worth, TX (4%), with an estimated completion date of May 30/12. One bid was solicited with one bid received by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-RD-F in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-10-C-0085). See also Express Tribune | Press Trust of India | SANA.