Uganda will receive five refurbished UH-1H Huey II helicopters and related equipment from the United States under a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) arrangement.
A notice posted on the US Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website on 3 August originally mentioned eight refurbished helicopters, but two days later this was changed to five aircraft.
The FBO notice said that only one responsible source and no other suppliers or services will satisfy agency requirements, meaning that Bell Helicopter is the only proposed vendor as it is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
The Foreign Military Sale contract will also include spare parts, special tools, and operator and maintainer training. No other details were given.
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.
Earlier this year the United States considered providing Kenya with five UH-1H Huey II helicopters and in March issued a request for capability information for the requirement. The Federal Business Opportunities website said the Programme Management Office, Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft, was conducting “market research” “to identify parties having an interest in and the resources to support the procurement and delivery of five (5) baseline Bell UH-1H II (Huey II) Helicopters, aircraft spare parts, special tools, operator and maintainer training to a Foreign Military Sales customer for the Republic of Kenya.”