Bell, part of American conglomerate Textron, received a new contract for support of the H-1 helicopter fleet, according to a recent U.S. Department of Defense news release.
The contract, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $815 million and covers repair, upgrade or replacement of 35 items used on the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters, along with inventory management, warehousing and establishing supply response time metrics.
Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (80%); and Cherry Point, North Carolina (20%).
It also added that this contract includes a five-year base period with no options.
The UH-1Y is the most significant upgrade ever made to the venerable and battle-proven H-1 helicopter. At the heart of the upgrade is a new four-bladed, all-composite and ballistically tolerant (up to 23 mm) rotor system.
Upgraded engines and transmissions, integrated digital cockpit featuring multifunction flat panels, increased payload capabilities, crash-worthy seating for all crew and passengers also provide increased load carrying ability, greater range and survivability, smaller logistical footprint and easier maintenance for the Marine Corps.
The company’s website said that with anti-armor and air-to-air missiles, the Bell AH-1Z is designed to operate – and destroy targets – in the most extreme environments.
The AH-1Z is the only helicopter in production equipped with the AIM-9 Sidewinder providing the most advanced air-to-air combat capabilities.
The Bell AH-1Z shares 85% commonality with the Bell UH-1Y medium-sized utility helicopter components—shrinking the need for extra logistics, maintenance and training costs for your entire fleet.