Naval Warfare

Japan Coast Guard Signs for Two Additional SUBARU Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopters

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Japan Coast Guard Signs for Two Additional SUBARU Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopters

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Japan Coast Guard Signs for Two Additional SUBARU Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopters
Japan Coast Guard Signs for Two Additional SUBARU Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopters

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, announced that Subaru Corporation has signed a contract for two additional SUBARU BELL 412 EPX utility helicopters with the Japan Coast Guard. The Japan Coast Guard has operated more than 40 Bell 212 and 412 helicopters for over five decades. These SUBARU BELL 412EPX helicopters will support the Japanese Coast Guard’s maritime security, search and rescue operations, maritime disaster relief efforts, and cargo transport needs. With today’s contract signing, the Japan Coast Guard’s fleet of SUBARU BELL 412EPX helicopters has grown to six aircraft.

The transition to the SUBARU BELL 412EPX was a logical next step due to shared design commonalities. With an extended hover ceiling, increased payload capacity, robust main rotor gearbox and dry run capability, the SUBARU BELL 412EPX utility helicopter delivers superior operational performance and efficiency while maintaining its long-standing reputation for reliability. Moreover, the SUBARU BELL 412EPX features state-of-the-art integrated avionics with large and intuitive displays that greatly reduce a pilot’s workload.

Subaru Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopter. (Photo by Bell)
Subaru Bell 412EPX Utility Helicopter. (Photo by Bell)

Subaru-Bell UH-2 (formerly UH-X) is a modified version of the Bell 412 EPI, built under license in Japan by Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries). 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. It is a twin-turbine helicopter that has been popular on the civilian and military markets, and major users include Canada, Italy, and Japan. Several hundred have been produced since its introduction in 1979, and several iterations of upgrades and variations have been produced, such as with upgraded cockpit electronics.

The current production version, 412EP (Enhanced Performance), is equipped with a dual digital automatic flight control system. 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 similar to the Bell model 429. Also featured is a Garmin touchscreen navigation system, and the BLR Strake and Fast Fin upgrades for improved hover performance. The helicopter is powered by the Pratt and Whitney Canada twin-pack power plant with two turboshaft engines and has achieved the lowest in-flight shut-down rate of aircraft turboshaft engines.

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