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First Batch of JGSDF UH-2 Helicopters Delivered to JGSDF

Our Bureau - : Mar 17, 2023 - : 4:15 am

Subaru Corporation has completed the deliveries of the first batch of six UH-2s (Utility Helicopter in service to the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF). A Subaru official at the ongoing show, told Daily News, that the last of six helicopters from the first batch was delivered to the JGSDF in January. An actual JGSDF UH-2 was displayed inside the show by Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA).

The official said that over the last 50 years, Subaru has delivered more than 450 utility helicopters to the JGSDF. The UH-2 has 7.7 feet sliding doors on both sides, allowing for fast and easy access. The cabin is 240 cm wide and 135 cm tall. This allows various cargo configurations such as carrying two motorcycles and four soldiers or six stretchers for medical evacuation.

Subaru has been contracted to supply 150 UH-2s the JGSDF and is likely to maintain an annual production rate of 10 helicopters till deliveries conclude. The company is also seeking to export the UH-2 to interested countries in the APAC region.

Subaru Corporation delivered the first UH-2 for the JGSDF from its Aerospace Company Utsunomiya Plant, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan in June 2022. According to company officials, the UH-2 offers improved performance and safety features, while maintaining its long established reputation for utility and reliability. The UH-2 is ready to take-off within three minutes in extreme hot or cold temperatures, with its engine, transmission, hydraulics, and electrical systems having historically demonstrated reliable start-up characteristics in such conditions.

 The UH-2 incorporates ballistic tolerant features, such as twin-engines, 30 minutes dry run capability, dual cockpit controls, a damage tolerant airframe structure, crash resistant fuel system and duplicated or isolated/separated critical flight systems.

The cockpit features Bell’s Basix-Pro integrated glass cockpit with four large high-definition displays paired with a digital navigation/communication suite which reduces pilot workload and increases situational awareness. The helicopter is powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9 Twin-Pac engines. Additional features include a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS), wire strike protection system (WSPS), Bell helicopter vibration monitor system (BHVMS) and night vision goggle ready interior lighting and controls.

Developed to stringent JGSDF specifications, the UH-2 offers enhanced performance, safety, and efficiency and is based on Bell’s 412EPI. The UH-2 has been developed by Subaru by leveraging Subaru’s Bell 412EPX which is its latest civilian helicopter in production and remodelled for a Japan Ministry of Defence specification. The Japan MoD will benefit from the orders of scale for the UH-2, which will be obtained by deliveries for the civilian Subaru Bell 412 EPX. The Japan Coast Guard placed orders for Subaru Bell 412 EPXs in June 2022, with deliveries slated to begin in 2025. The new helicopters will be used for ensuring security at sea, search and rescue, responding maritime disasters, and transportation of many loads and share commonalities with the Japan Coast Guard’s Bell 412EP helicopters. The Subaru Bell 412 EPX however, provides better operational capability and efficiency with improved performance such as extended hover ceiling and increased useful load.


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