Archive photo of a pair of Austrian AB 212s dropping troops during a military exercise (Image © Österreichs Bundesheer)

Modernised Austrian AB 212s: 25 years extra

Archive photo of a pair of Austrian AB 212s dropping troops during a military exercise (Image © Österreichs Bundesheer)
Archive photo of a pair of Austrian AB 212s dropping troops during a military exercise (Image © Österreichs Bundesheer)

Austrian defence minister Gerald Klug officially transferred the first pair of modernised Agusta Bell 212 to the Air Support Command of the Austrian Armed Forces on 6 November 2013.

The machines of Kommando Luftunterstützung most of all got new avionics and mission gear. Moreover pilots the Österreichs Bundesheer Bell pilots are now able to fly with night vision goggles, increasing the availability of the helicopters at night and in adverse weather conditions. The AB 212s also got a new self-defence suite, including electronic systems like a missile warner, radar lock receiver and a chaff/flare ejection system.

The Agusta Bell 212 is a medium-size tactical transport helicopter with a main two-blade rotor, two turbine engines and enough space to carry 14 personnel. The Austrian Armed Forces use the machine not only for military offensive and defensive operations with for example the 25 Ranger Battalion (Jägerbataillon) or paratroopers, but also for rescue and mountain flying and to combat forest fires.

All 23 AB 212s are due to have undergone the update by 2015. Defence minister Klug believes the modernisation adds another 25 years of service life to the fleet.

Source: Österreiches Bundesheer