Tag Archives: Bell

Development of Navy cargo Osprey started

The development of the US Navy CMV-22B Osprey carrier onboard delivery plane has started. The joint Bell/Boeing project received its first 151 million dollars for redesigning the aircraft.

Forty-four CMV-22B vertical landing aircraft are set to start streaming into USN service between 2020 and 2024, replacing the traditional fixed-wing Grumman C-2 Greyhound. MV-22s are already very much in use with the US Marines, where they fly everything from cargo to soldiers between navy ships to land-based locations or into the battlefield.

Special Navy Osprey

Bell/Boeing deliver the aircraft at 86.8 million a piece. The extra 151 million dollars that have been allocated now will be used for incorporating an external fuel tank, adapted SATCOMs, a modified shipboard landing system and other stuff not incorporated on the Marine Ospreys.

Arming of the CMV-22Bs is not planned, but could be done in a later stage.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey from Marine Medium-lift Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 takes off from the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. Gallagher / US Navy)

Bell Helicopter completes Mexican Bell 407 deliveries

Bell Helicopter on Monday 28 March completed the delivery of the 15th Bell 407GXP to the Mexican Air Force (FAM). The contract was awarded in March 2015, and the Bell 407GXP fleet is currently supporting the FAM’s parapublic missions across the region.

As the primary aircraft operating branch of the Mexican Armed Forces, the FAM covers the entire country, with 18 military air bases located across Mexico. The FAM have been operating Bell helicopters since 1973 with the delivery of a Bell 206-B, and their fleet currently includes the Bell 412EP, 212 and 206. The 15 Bell 407GXPs are operated by the 111th Air Squadron based at the Military Airbase in Zapopan, Jalisco.

“The Bell 407GXP is truly a multi-mission capable platform that can perform various missions,” said Jay Ortiz, vice president of Latin American sales for Bell Helicopters. “We are honored by the Mexican Air Force’s trust in Bell Helicopter and our aircraft, and we are proud to have delivered the final Bell 407GXP to join their fleet.”

With more than 1,300 Bell 407 aircraft operating worldwide, there are more than 200 in parapublic configuration.

Featured image: Bell Helicopter

More UH-1H Huey IIs for Lebanon

On 15 March, Bell Helicopter Textron has been awarded a USD 18.9 million for three UH-1H Huey II helicopters for the Lebanese government. This will be done via a  foreign military sales (FMS) contract.

These 3 examples are part of an order for 18 UH-1H Huey II helicopters placed in 2014. The Lebanese Air Force already flies 6 Huey IIs since 2012. Delivery of the 3 helicopters is expected to be completed by 14 March 2017. Besides the Huey II the Lebanese Air Force also operates the older UH-1H type for more than 15 years now. The Huey IIs will replace these older airframes.

The UH-1 Huey (officially named Iroquois) flew first in 1959, and has been in service in large numbers with many air forces around the world, such as the German army (see our special report about the UH-1Ds here)

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk
Featured image: The Lebanese UH-1 Huey II are somewhat similar to this Japan Ground-Self Defence Force UH-1 (Image © Cpl. Matthew Manning / USMC)

Photo Feature: Cold Response 2016

About 15,000 troops, including 2,000 of non-NATO member Sweden, 40 aircraft and helicopters, about a thousand vehicles and several ships and boats are currently kicking a** in Northern and Central Norway. Exercise Cold Response included the taking of the normally peaceful village of Namsos, situated on the shores of beautiful fjords.

The 7th edition of the multinational winter war exercise hosted by Norway brings units from mainly NATO countries together, to show what they can as “bad” and “good” force against each other. To train for a possible real war scenario and to show NATO’s current strange “friend” Russia that the North American-European alliance still can.

The Swedes participating took the run-up to Cold Response very seriously, as you could read earlier here at Airheadsfly.com.

We selected some of the great images of this years edition made by Norwegian defence photographers for you. Have fun!

Featured image (top): From the back seat of a RNoAF F-16BM, closing in on the American B-52. (Image © 331 SQN / Forsvaret)

A F-16 from the Royal Norwegian Air Force taking off from Bodø Main Air Station to escort a USAF B-52 bomber over Namsos. The departure marks the start of the winter exercise Cold Response 2016 (Image © Gard Eirik Seter / Luftforsvaret)
A F-16 from the Royal Norwegian Air Force taking off from Bodø Main Air Station to escort a USAF B-52 bomber over Namsos. The departure marks the start of the winter exercise Cold Response 2016 (Image © Gard Eirik Seter / Luftforsvaret)
A short time later followed by a Belgian Air Component F-16AM (Image © Gard Eirik Seter / Luftforsvaret)
A short time later followed by a Belgian Air Component F-16AM (Image © Gard Eirik Seter / Luftforsvaret)
From the back seat of a RNoAF F-16BM, closing in on the American B-52. (Image © 331 SQN / Forsvaret)
From the back seat of a RNoAF F-16BM, closing in on the American B-52. (Image © 331 SQN / Forsvaret)
Hi Buff! Seen from the back seat of a RNoAF F-16BM (Image © 331 SQN / Forsvaret)
Hi Buff! Seen from the back seat of a RNoAF F-16BM (Image © 331 SQN / Forsvaret)
Once about to be axed due to budget cuts, the Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed Cougars both in the old camo as well as the newer overall grey paint scheme to Cold Response 2016  (Image ©  Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
Once about to be axed due to budget cuts, the Royal Netherlands Air Force deployed Cougars both in the old camo as well as the newer overall grey paint scheme to Cold Response 2016 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
The Marines have landed, or almost, as this Sikorsky CH-53E is about to put some boots on the ground (Image ©  Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
The Marines have landed, or almost, as this Sikorsky CH-53E is about to put some boots on the ground (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
And there they are, as a small surprise coming from the USMC Sea Stallion, Royal Netherlands Marines in the Scandinavian snow ... looking fancy and all in their new ski goggles (Image ©  Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
And there they are, as a small surprise coming from the USMC Sea Stallion, Royal Netherlands Marines in the Scandinavian snow … looking fancy and all in their new ski goggles (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvaret)
And especially for those who like photoshopped blue skies (we don't discuss taste) here are the two Dutch Cougars and US Marines CH-53E navigating through the Norwegian landscape (Image ©  Julie Kristiansen Johansen / Forsvaret)
And especially for those who like photoshopped blue skies (we don’t discuss taste) here are the two Dutch Cougars and US Marines CH-53E navigating through the Norwegian landscape (Image © Julie Kristiansen Johansen / Forsvaret)
The crew of a Royal Norwegian Armed Forces Bell 412 at work (Image © Kristian Kapelrud / Forsvaret)
The crew of a Royal Norwegian Armed Forces Bell 412 at work (Image © Kristian Kapelrud / Forsvaret)
After dropping off Dutch troops, the Royal Netherlands Air Force Cougar takes off (Image © Annette Ask / Forsvaret)
After dropping off Dutch troops, the Royal Netherlands Air Force Cougar takes off (Image © Annette Ask / Forsvaret)
A rather gorgious image of a Swedish HKP 15 (Agusta A109) at sundown (Image © Kristian Kapelrud / Forsvaret)
A rather gorgious image of a Swedish HKP 15 (Agusta A109) at sundown (Image © Kristian Kapelrud / Forsvaret)
Photo flight of the naval battle group steaming impressively forwards (Image © Elias Engevik)
Photo flight of the naval battle group steaming impressively forwards (Image © Elias Engevik)
Norwegian and Beligan F-16s preparing for another mission (Image © Olav Standal Tangen / Forsvaret)
Norwegian and Beligan F-16s preparing for another mission (Image © Olav Standal Tangen / Forsvaret)

Croatia to receive Kiowa helos in 2016

Croatia is on course to receive 16 former US OH-58D Kiowa recce and light attack helicopters, with first deliveries due later this year. Inspection of the helicopters took place last month in Fort Bragg (North Carolina) and Redstone Arsenal (Alabama). The US will donate the helos to Croatia, with a formal agreement to be signed soon.

Airheadsfly.com reported on the Croation Kiowas last year already. A Croatian team inspected the choppers and their documentation, plus examined and selected training simulators to be used for pilot training. Maintenance details and other conditions for operational use by the Croatian Armed Forces were also discussed with US experts, as well as transportation of the Kiowas to Croatia. 

US Army

As many as 14 of 16 selected helicopters are still in operational use with the US Army and will be taken over in well-maintained condition. The helicopters were manufactured in the period 2012-2015 and each have between 100 and 600 flying hours.  

The Kiowas are capable of carrying machine guns, Hellfire missiles, air-to-air Stinger (ATAS) missile and 2.75″ Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). Also, the helicopters are fitted with passive protection for the crew and the vital parts of the helicopter, plus provisions for  active counter-measures against threats.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A US Army OH-58 Kiowa, seen during operations in Afghanistan in December 2011. (Image © US Army)