The Philippine Air Force is purchasing eight Bell 412EP helicopters through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). The aircraft will be fully configured and equipped for PAF needs.
Five of the Bell 412s will be configured for combat utility operations including relief efforts, three are to be configured for VIP transportation. The contract was preliminary announced in November 2012, but has been finalized on 2 April 2014.
The Bell 412EP offers dual digital automatic flight control system with available IFR option and so-called Category A/JAR OPS 3 capability. The chopper has a cruise speed of 140 knots (161 mph), range of 358 nautical miles (412 miles) and a cabin able to accommodate 14 passengers and one crew member.
The Philippine Air Force has operated derivations of the Bell UH-1H since the late 1960s, and since 1994 when they received their first two Bell 412s. With the increase pressure from mighty China the Philippines are currently improving their fixed and rotary wing assets. Recently Manilla ordered 21 Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters from US based Rice Aircraft Services in a partnership with Canadian Eagle Copters. Moreover the Asian country ordered eight AgustaWestland AW109s. From Korea the Philippines buy a dozen KA-50 advanced jet trainers/light attack aircraft.
Source: Bell Helicopters with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger