Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced the delivery of three Bell 505 light helicopters to the Royal Bahrain Air Force. Bell delivered the aircraft during an inspection and acceptance event in February 2023 at Bell’s Mirabel facility. The Bahrain Defense Force has flown the Bell 212 and multiple generations of AH-1 attack helicopters. This delivery marks the first 505 helicopters for the country and includes a package with training, tooling, and spares.
“We are honored to provide the Bahrain Defense Force another premiere Bell asset to train the next generation of Bahrani pilots. Generations of Bahraini pilots have flown in Bell helicopters, and the Bell 505 will continue the tradition of excellence for years to come. With low operating costs and high reliability, the Bell 505 has emerged as a customer favorite to prepare cadets for a safer and more effective transition to advanced helicopters,” said Sameer Rehman, managing director, Africa and Middle East, Bell.
The Kingdom of Bahrain joins other countries in the region employing the Bell 505 as their advanced military trainer of choice. Horizon International Flight Academy in the UAE operates 12 Bell 505s, and the Royal Jordanian Air Force signed an agreement for 10 Bell 505s in November 2022. More than 30 Bell 505 helicopters operate throughout the Middle East and Africa. Additionally, the Bell 505 is the military training helicopter for the Montenegro Air Force, Republic of Korea Army and Republic of Korea Navy.
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X (JRX) is an American/Canadian light helicopter developed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter. The Bell 505 is a “clean sheet” design, but uses some dynamic components, such as the rotor system, of the Bell 206L-4. Bell has delivered more than 400 Bell 505 helicopters to domestic and international customers. The Bell 505 program has collectively achieved more than 100,000 flight hours. The Bell 505 recently became the world’s first single engine helicopter to fly on 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel.