Bell Helicopter has been awarded $86 million in contracts to supply ten Huey II helicopters to Kenya and Uganda, and will deliver another five rotorcraft to an unnamed African military this year.
According to a US Department of Defence announcement on 26 September, the company has been awarded a foreign military sales contract worth $52.1 million for five Huey II helicopters and spares for Kenya and a $34.5 million contract for five helicopters for Uganda. Work will have been completed by 29 December 2017.
In August this year a notice posted on the US Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website announced the contract for Uganda, while in March the FBO said it was considering providing Kenya with five UH-1H Huey IIs.
These contracts have now been cemented. During the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition held outside Pretoria earlier this month, Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter Vice President for Middle East and Africa, told IHS Jane’s that another African military will get five Huey IIs this year in addition to Kenya and Uganda, but did not name the customer.
According to Bell Helicopter, the Huey II Modernization Programme combines commercial Bell 212 dynamic components with the 1 800 shp Honeywell T53-L-703 engine (replacing the original Lycoming), leading to an increase in hover performance in hot conditions and increasing the maximum gross weight to 4 763 kg. Along with the Bell Huey II kit installation, Bell Helicopter refurbishes the Bell UH-1H basic airframe to OEM standards (zero timing the airframe), provides a complete rewire, updates the avionics (including an optional glass cockpit) and offers a comprehensive selection of mission specific kits and customization.
Other features include rollover bulkheads, rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire strike protection and jettisonable crew doors. The Huey II has a useful load of 2 200 kg, endurance of 2.6 hours and max cruise speed of 196 km/h at maximum gross weight.