Kenya, Uganda and an undisclosed African nation will soon be receiving their first Bell HUEY II helicopters, which have recently been seen leaving the Bell Helicopter plant in Ozark, AL, after completion of remanufacturing and upgrade work.
In September, the US DoD Announced Foreign Military Sales contracts for the supply off HUEY IIs to Kenya (five aircraft and spares, US$52.1 million) and Uganda (five helicopters, $34.5 million). In addition, according to the company, another undisclosed African nation will receive five aircraft this year.
The Bell HUEY II combines commercial Bell 212 dynamic components with the reliable Honeywell T53-L-703 engine, leading to an increase in hover performance in hot conditions. In addition, the Bell Huey II upgrade increases the max gross weight to 10,500 lbs, while lowering direct operating costs. Along with the Bell HUEY II kit installation, Bell Helicopter refurbishes the Bell UH-1H basic airframe to OEM standards, provides a complete rewire, updates the avionics and offers a comprehensive selection of mission specific kits and customisation.
Other features include rollover bulkheads, rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire strike protection and jettisonable crew doors. The HUEY II has a useful load of 2,200kg, endurance of 2.6 hours and max cruise speed of 196 km/h at maximum gross weight.