The delivery of four Bell UH-1H-II Huey II utility helicopters to the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Bosnian pilots also completed training on the helicopter in June this year at Fort Worth, Texas. The Huey II has been a reliable workhorse, compatible with NATO operations. The Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces current aviation assets include Mi-8T, Mi-8MTV, Gazelle and UH-1H helicopters, all of which suffer from limited serviceability. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fruitful partnership with NATO provides an opportunity to modernize its helicopter fleet to be more interoperable.
This initiative is a joint project between the United States and Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the U.S. Government provided $34 million to cover most of the up-front cost, the Ministry of Defense intends to invest more than that over the next ten years to continue building this program. This is in addition to the more than $4 million the Ministry has already invested in the initial purchase. I call on the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide the Armed Forces with the resources they need to continue this and other programs in a meaningful way. The Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a success story worth investing in.
Huey II is an upgraded version of Bell UH-1H multimission, medium-lift helicopter, designed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron. The upgrade is intended to provide improved performance over the standard version. Combining a modernised airframe of the basic UH-1H helicopter and Bell 212 components, the OEM-standard Huey II upgrade offers lower direct maintenance costs and greater mission flexibility. The helicopter can be configured for a variety of missions, including troop transport, cargo, search-and-rescue, special operations, disaster response and firefighting.
The Huey II is operated by one or two pilots and can accommodate up to 14 personnel. The crew section is equipped with jettisonable doors and new wide windscreens. The wide sliding doors of the cabin facilitate easy loading and unloading of cargo. Four large windows fitted to the cabin offer improved visibility. The helicopter has a two-blade, semi-rigid main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. It is also equipped with a new skid type landing gear. The large, flat cabin floor area can be reconfigured with multiple structural assemblies and hard points to provide multi-role flexibility.