Fri, Jan 26, 2007
Better Late Than Never For Modernized Hueys
Representatives with Bell Helicopter told ANN Thursday the Fort
Worth, TX-based helomaker delivered the first production AH-1Z
Cobra attack to the US Department of Defense.
"Bell Helicopter is pleased to be able to provide these
much-needed assets to our warfighters," said Dick Millman,
president and CEO of Bell. "The modernization of the Corps' aging
fleet will provide enhanced capabilities while reducing operational
costs in the field."
Earlier this month, the first UH-1Y Iroquois utility helicopter
was delivered. These two helicopters comprise the H-1 program, that
will ultimately provide 280 upgraded Huey-based attack and
utility helicopters to the United States Marine Corps.
First deliveries for the H-1 program were originally scheduled
for 2005, but production delays forced that date to slip two years.
As Aero-News reported, both
updated helicopters had a joint roll-out ceremony in September of
"We have created completely modernized attack and utility
helicopters that have considerable design commonality to reduce
operating costs," said Mike Blake, Bell's executive vice president
for Programs. "The AH-1Z and UH-1Y share common tail boom, engines,
rotor system, drive train, avionics architecture, software,
controls and displays for over 84 percent identical components.
This should drive down maintenance while improving reliability for
a cost savings of more than $3B over the 30 year programs."
Bell Helicopter is a producer of commercial and military, manned
and unmanned vertical lift aircraft, and a pioneer of the
revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Bell's global workforce serves
customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
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