in Defence / Features

Huey II simulators hunt for Kenya and Uganda

Posted 26 September 2018 · Add Comment

The US Army is carrying out market research to find a contractor that can deliver a level 5 flight-training device (FTD) to Kenya, with a potential option for an additional Huey II FTD for the Republic of Uganda, writes Jon Lake.

The study, being undertaken on the US Federal Business Opportunities website, says the contractor would also provide training and technical support for the Bell UH-1H Huey IIs recently delivered to Kenya and Uganda, including the simulator training of an initial class of 16 Kenyan pilots.
Kenya received its first six Huey II helicopters in December 2016. In September 2016, Bell Helicopters won an $87.6 million contract to supply Kenya and Uganda with 13 more Huey II helicopters (eight more for Kenya, and five for Uganda) and spares.
The last of the eight ‘batch 2’ Huey IIs for the Kenyan Air Force were delivered in July 2017, while the aircraft for Uganda completed refurbishing and conversion at Bell’s Ozark, Alabama, facility in November 2017. The helicopters were subsequently sent to Huntsville, Alabama, from where they will be transported to Uganda.
The US Federal Business Opportunities website revealed that the Department of the Army is looking for a contractor to build a hangar at Soroti in eastern Uganda, together with a ramp and flightline. This is to be capable of accommodating three Huey IIs.
The Bell Huey II modernisation programme takes ex-US Army UH-1Hs and upgrades them to the new UH-1H Huey II standard.
The Bell UH-1H basic airframe is rewired and refurbished to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards (zero timing the airframe), and modern avionics and mission systems are fitted, including an optional glass cockpit.
Rollover bulkheads, rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire strike protection, and jettisonable crew doors are also provided.
Maximum gross weight is increased to 10,500lbs, and the combination of commercial Bell 212 dynamic components with the 1,800shp Honeywell T53-L-703 engine gives a significant increase in hover performance in hot conditions, while reducing direct operating costs.
The Huey II is a significantly more sophisticated and advanced helicopter than the original UH-1H, which makes simulator training even more important – particularly for aircrew used to ‘steam age’ rotorcraft with analogue cockpits and more austere avionics.
 

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