Bell Helicopter is teaming up with Bird Aerosystems to offer an airborne rotary spy so-called end-to-end solution. The two companies will offer the Bell 407GXP with an integrated Bird Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) package.
Dubbed the Bell 407 ASIO (Airosystems Surveillance, Intelligence and Observation) the helicopter will have a range of mission specific sensors and communications systems all integrated together to provide a real-time terrestrial and maritime picture to decision makers or field commanders.
ASIO is customizable and can be rapidly deployed in a variety of configurations, with the Bird solutions already in tested in counter-insurgency, border surveillance and coastal patrol. Bird surveillance and missile protection systems fly with UN and other international troops, including on contracted Mi-17s in Afghanistan.
The Bell 407GXP is the latest upgrade to the Bell 407 platform. It has an additional 50 lbs (22.5 kg) of carrying capability, coupled with the new M250 Rolls-Royce engine that boosts power and fuel efficiency.
Sources: Bell Helicopter / Bird Aerosystems
Featured image (top): Test set-up of the Bell with Bird’s ASIO (Image © Bird Aerosystems)