After years spent without securing A400M export business, Airbus is optimistic that an order from Kazakhstan will change the fortunes of the programme.
Bell restarts Venom production to meet Czech order
Bell Textron announced on 19 July that it has resumed UH-1Y Venom helicopter production to fulfil an FMS contract to produce and deliver eight UH-1Ys and four AH-1Z Viper helicopters for the Czech Republic.
Subcontractor Crestview Aerospace completed manufacturing the first of eight UH-1Y cabins at its Florida facility. The aircraft will complete final assembly at the Bell facility in Amarillo, Texas.
The company delivered the final UH-1Y for the USMC programme of record in April 2018, but it continued producing and delivering the AH-1Z under a production contract for 349 H-1 aircraft (160 Venoms and 189 Vipers).
The UH-1Y shares 85% commonality of parts with the AH-1Z, including the same engines, integrated mission system and four-bladed rotor. This commonality has enabled critical component supply chains to remain active during AH-1Z production for the USMC, Bell noted.
Bell anticipates USMC production of the AH-1Z until early 2022, followed by continued production for foreign military customers, including Bahrain, which ordered 12 helicopters. According to Shephard Defence Insight, these Vipers will supplement a fleet of Royal Bahrain Air Force AH-1 Cobras (AH-1Es, AH-1Fs and TAH-1P trainer helicopters).
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