Iraq Looks to Bolster Heli-SAR with Bell 412EPs
In July 2013, the US DSCA announced Iraq’s request to buy of 12 Bell 412EP helicopters for search and rescue duties.
This exact type is new to Iraq, but they do have something similar. A 2005 Jordanian donation of 16 UH-1Hs were upgraded to Huey II configuration by adding a Honeywell T53-L-703 engine, modern avionics, and wiring. The twin-blade, single-engine helicopters are already used for search and rescue. In comparison, the 4-blade, twin-engine Bell 412s offer a similar but newer platform with advanced sensors, higher performance, and more lift.
Contracts & Key Events
July 25/13: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Iraq’s official request to buy the 12 Bell 412EPs and equipment, plus spare parts, training, site surveys, and other forms of US government and contractor support. Exact costs for the Bell 412s will depend on negotiations, but the maximum expected is $300 million.
The helicopters will be equipped with the Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3DF engines that are standard for this type, plus FLIR Systems’ Star SAFIRE III surveillance turrets, and SX-16 Nightsun searchlights.
The avionics suite will include KDM – 706 Distance Measuring Equipment, KNR 634 VOR/LOC with MB/HSI, MST67A Transponder, Artex C406-1HM Emergency Locator Transmitter, Wulfsberg FlexComm II C5000 System with Synthesized Guard, KTR-908 VHF Radios, NAT AA-95 Audio System, 660 Weather Radar, AAI Radome, and Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Compatible Cockpit Lighting.
Bell Helicopter Textron in Hurst, TX is the prime contractor, and if the sale goes through, about 20 US government and contractor personnel will need to travel to Iraq for up to 3 years to conduct the required flight training, maintenance training, and support assistance missions.