Bell Helicopter and Subaru Corporation are joining hands for the commercial enhancement of the Bell 412 EPI, which was type-certified recently as the 412 EPX, in support of the Japan UH-X program. The announcement was made during the ongoing Farnborough Air Show.
It was in 2015 that Subaru was awarded the contract for the Japan UH-X program to replace Japan Ground Self Defence Force’s (JGSDF) current fleet of UH-1J aircraft with a militarized derivative of the Subaru Bell 412EPX.
“Our relationship with Subaru extends over six decades,” said Bell President and CEO Mitch Snyder. “Together, we were the first to deliver military helicopters to Japan’s defense force. We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration on the UH-X and the 412 EPX Programs.”
“Under cooperation with Bell, the Subaru Bell 412EPX will provide a great opportunity to expand the commercial business,” said Shoichiro Tozuka, Subaru Corporate Executive Vice President and President of Aerospace Company. “Further, the UH-X, which will replace the current UH-1J aircraft, will start delivery to JGSDF in 2022 and will be deployed for island defense and disaster relief efforts.”
The Subaru Bell 412EPX has a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability, increased internal Maximum Gross Weight to 12,200 lbs. and mast torque output of +11% at speeds below 60 knots.
The Subaru Bell 412EPX commercial variant is planned to become available to customers globally through Subaru and Bell in the future. A commercial prototype has undergone testing at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada. FAA certification was achieved on July 5 this year.
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