SINGAPORE ― Bell Helicopter has signed a purchase agreement with the Philippines for additional Bell 412EPI helicopters, the company said Tuesday at the Singapore Airshow.
The agreement was for 16 helicopters for the Philippine Air Force, which are being acquired as part of the ongoing Horizon 2 modernization plan of the Southeast Asian country’s military.
The twin-engine helicopters will be acquired under a government-to-government deal with the Canadian Commercial Corporation. No contract value was announced, although it’s known that the Philippine government had allocated $234.1 million for the Horizon 2 combat utility helicopter acquisition plan.
The Bell 412EPI helicopter is equipped with advanced features including a glass cockpit and fully configured for a variety of missions such as disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport.
“We are honored that the Bell 412 will continue to serve the Philippines through the Philippine Air Force for many more years to come. Being a part of the armed forces of the Philippines is a privilege and responsibility that we at Bell Helicopter take very seriously,” said Sameer A. Rehman, managing director of Bell Helicopter Asia Pacific.
Rehman added that “Bell’s helicopters have been a key component for the Philippine Air Force in the past and we look forward to bringing these aircraft into service quickly to serve the citizens of the Philippines.”
The Philippine Air Force has operated the Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter since the late 1960s, which eventually evolved into the Bell 412. Since the 1990s the Philippines has operated the Bell 412, with a total of four aircraft acquired.
More recently, Bell Helicopter delivered eight Bell 412EP aircraft to the Philippines in 2015 acquired under the Horizon 1 modernization phase.
Mike Yeo is the Asia correspondent for Defense News. He wrote his first defense-related magazine article in 1998 before pursuing an aerospace engineering degree at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. Following a stint in engineering, he became a freelance defense reporter in 2013 and has written for several media outlets.