Indonesian state-owned aircraft company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has delivered two more Bell 412EPI (Enhanced Performance Integrated) multirole medium helicopters to the Indonesian Army. The company said in a statement that thehelicopter, which were the second and third to be handed over to the service, are part of a USD183 million contract signed with the Ministry of Defence in Jakarta in December 2018 for nine Bell 412EPIs customised by PTDI to meet the Indonesian Army. Indonesia has plans to have a fleet of 40 Bell-412 EPI aircraft.
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter of the Huey family manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212, with the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor. In 2013 Bell introduced the 412EPI which includes an electronic (Digital) engine control for a PT6T-9 engine upgrade, and a glass cockpit display system. Also featured is a Garmin touchscreen navigation system, and the BLR Strake and Fast Fin upgrades for improved hover performance. The Bell 412 412EPI is particularly popular in military, and law enforcement use.
The Bell 412EPIs are being manufactured in the United States by Bell Textron. PTDI performs customisation work on the aircraft, including assembling Gatling gun weapons and bullets. While the Gatling gun will be procured from Dillon Aerospace, the bullets will be provided by Indonesian state-owned defense company PT Pindad. The company takes around six to 24 months to complete the raft process. Assembly work is followed by operational feasibility tests and training of Indonesian Army pilots and technicians.
American aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron and PTDI have been working together to support the Indonesian Armed Forces since 1982. In 2016 Bell and PTDI signed an extension to the original industrial and commercial agreement reached in 2012, enabling the two companies to expand their support and services in Indonesia to Bell helicopter operators. Established in 1976 as a state owned company, PTDI (PT Dirgantara Indonesia, Indonesian Aerospace) has developed its capability as an aircraft manufacturer and diversified into other areas.