Bell Developing Militarized Versions of its Civil Helicopter Line Written 7 February 2023


Bell 407 GT Experimental helicopter at Airpower 2013 in Zeltweg, Austria. | Credit: Mgroessing; Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 3.0

Vertical Magazine (CAN) reports that Bell is “developing militarized versions of its civil helicopter line to bring a low-cost defensive rotary-wing capability to market, with the main target being countries that may have previously flown Russian-built airframes. … Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the implementation of crippling economic sanctions on the former, and these are having a knock-on impact on any country attempting to operate a Russian helicopter.” According to the article, “Bell’s solution is to offer civil aircraft outfitted with military equipment, and the first type available is the Bell 407.” The militarized helicopter is “equipped with a weapon mounting system – installed along the rear cabin and protruding from the cabin doors – with four mounting stations. A multi-sensor imaging system is mounted under the aircraft’s nose.” Michael Deslatte, VP and program director of H-1/Special Mission Aircraft at Bell, said that the company is “focused on providing a level of capability that was ‘a little more approachable,’ with the aircraft sold either through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program or as a direct commercial sale, depending on the country and licensing required.”
Full Story (Vertical Magazine)