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Paris Air Show: Bell pitches to international market

19th June 2017 - 11:18 by Helen Haxell in Paris

Paris Air Show: Bell pitches to international market

Pitching itself further as an international military supplier, Bell Helicopter has highlighted imminent deliveries of its tiltrotor and attack helicopter offerings across Asia.

The company will see the first V-22 deliveries to Japan in September/October this year while the AH-1Z Viper will start to be delivered to Pakistan in earnest soon.

Bell Helicopter’s Rich Harris, VP of international military sales, explained to journalists at the Paris Air Show that the Pakistan delivery was the first foreign military sale of the AH-1 attack helicopter in 20 years.

The Pakistan Army will take receipt of the first three aircraft this year. While little timeline detail was provided, Harris did confirm that the aircraft were currently being finished on the assembly line in Amarillo, Texas.

Placed in 2015, the order for 12 aircraft will see the remaining nine aircraft delivered in 2018. At this stage, while it has not been decided whether the delivery of the remaining nine will be in batches of three or more, the final aircraft will be delivered 18 months from now, Harris confirmed.

The V-22 programme has so far seen 295 aircraft delivered to the USMC out of 360. In total 347 V-22s have been delivered, including 52 in the CV configuration. The aircraft has surpassed more than 350,000 flight hours.

In a plan announced in mid-2015, the US Air Force will deploy three CV-22 Ospreys to Japan in the second half of this year, with seven more scheduled to arrive by 2021.

With the company looking to accelerate efforts to promote its military portfolio outside of the US, the prospect of a NATO sharing concept could stretch the reach of the OEM’s military aircraft. 

Harris explained that at this stage Bell was excited about this opportunity with a prospective joint asset such as the V-22. 

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