Bell Helicopter and Subaru Corporation recently celebrated the first order for the Subaru Bell 412EPX, an update of the popular Bell 412 series helicopter. Secured during the recent Paris Air Show, the order was placed by the Japan National Police Agency (JPNA).
Co-developed by both Bell and Subaru, the Subaru Bell 412EPX features an enhanced main rotor gearbox dry run capability, as well as increased internal maximum gross weight of up to 5,533kg (12,200lbs).
The aircraft also boasts a mast torque output of +11% at speeds below 60 knots. Overall, operators will benefit both from the ability to transport a larger payload with better operational efficiency.
Commenting on the first order from JPNA, Mitch Snyder, president and CEO, said: “We thank the National Police Agency for its trust.
“These aircraft will contribute to the overall safety and security of the people in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture. We look forward to furthering collaboration and continued success with SUBARU for many years to come.”
Building on the success story of the Bell 412 series, the Subaru Bell 412EPX adopted the same versatile cabin format that can be adjusted to suit a wide array of mission types.
The Bell 412 has long been a popular choice within the twin-engine helicopter space, particularly for entities active in the para-public sectors. A number of governments around the world have adopted the platform into their respective civil and defence operations, such as Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, the United States, and Thailand.
Sharing his viewpoint on the deal, Shoichiro Tozuka, Corporate SVP of SUBARU CORPORATION and the Aerospace company president, said: “We are honoured that SUBARU received the world’s first order for the SUBARU BELL 412EPX by the Japanese National Police Agency.
“We thank BELL for its great cooperation and, together, we are committed to delivering the highest quality SUBARU BELL 412EPX to the National Police Agency.
“This order is the first milestone to bringing the SUBARU BELL 412EPX to customers around the world.”
Subaru began its long-standing partnership with Bell back in the 1960s with the licensed production of the HU-1B/204B. Their ongoing collaboration has resulted in the production and continued support of more than 400 helicopters in Japan, which include the UH-1H/204B-2, UH-1J/205B and AH-1S.