FORT WORTH, Texas, 22 May 2009. The U.S. Army awarded Bell Helicopter a $60.3 million contract for 24 of its Model 407 helicopters, which the Army will provide to the Iraqi air force as part of a planned foreign military sale to Iraq.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defense selected the Bell Model 407 as the basis for a new Iraqi air force armed scout helicopter. Initial aircraft deliveries to the U.S. Army are expected to begin later this year. The 24 Model 407 helicopters, built at Bell's commercial aircraft manufacturing facility in Mirabel, Canada, will be militarized by the U.S. Army to meet Iraqi air force requirements, Bell officials say.
In February, the U.S. Army purchased three Model 407s from Bell that are currently being used as prototype aircraft for the development and testing of military-unique modifications. Once the Army has finished qualification with the initial prototype aircraft, military-unique modifications will then be applied to these 24 production aircraft before they are delivered to the Iraqi air force.
The Model 407 is Bell Helicopter's most popular commercial product and has accumulated more than 2.3 million hours of proven commercial service in a variety of configurations, including law enforcement, medical evacuation, offshore support, and executive transport, company officials say.