Saturday, June 3, 2023

First prototype of UH-X helicopter was spotted in Japan

According to Dutch military magazine, Scramble Magazine, at the Subaru Corporation factory at Utsunomiya in Japan was spotted the first prototype of UH-X helicopter.

“The last couple of days this Bell 412EPI version was seen in full Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) camo at the Subaru Corporation factory at Utsunomiya,” said in Scramble Magazine’s news report.

The new UH-X aircraft, based on the Bell 412EPI platform by Bell Helicopter, developing to replace Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) current fleet of UH-1J aircraft.


The UH-X, a successor to the UH-1J, would be used by the JGSDF for a variety of missions including transport of goods and personnel.

To help the Fuji Heavy Industries line attain scale, a civilian variant designated the Bell 412 EPI Advanced will be made available for local sales. Bell Japan head Richard Thornley estimates the line for the two helicopters is likely to run to two decades or longer.

As previously stated, Bell Helicopter as a long-term partner Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) was awarded a contract for 150 UH-X multi-purpose helicopters.

The Bell 412EPI has the impeccable reputation of reliability in some of the most extreme climates. Its versatile cabin accommodates an array of options to suit any specific mission needs. Additionally, with the Bell 412EPI the takeoff capability is enhanced with 600+ lbs capability while decreasing the required minimum helipad size to 60 ft. in diameter.

Such enhancements will extend the availability of the highly capable Bell 412 platform well into the future. The Fuji-Bell team is focused on standing up the developmental UH-X program, as well as advancing capabilities for the global commercial market through the program.

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Executive Editor


Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense adviser and a consultant. He graduated in business management and worked at leading European defense companies before becoming a military journalist. read more