in Defence / Features

Hueys give Uganda's force uplift

Posted 28 June 2018 · Add Comment

The Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has received a useful boost to its vertical lift capabilities with the arrival of five refurbished Bell Huey II helicopters from US surplus stocks.

The aircraft, formerly used by the US Army, had undergone almost a year being upgraded at Bell Helicopter’s Ozark, Alabama plant, according to South African internet site DefenceWeb.
Uganda’s current transport helicopter fleet consists of 10 Russian-built Mil Mi8/Mi-17s. The US machines are part of a $79 million package of defence aid to Uganda announced by the US in 2016. The US embassy in Kampala at the time said that the helicopters were being provided to assist Uganda’s efforts as part of the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Bringing a UH-1H up to Huey II standards involves refurbishing the basic airframe to zero-time original equipment manufacturer standards – in other words, effectively taking it back to ‘as-new’ status – completely rewiring the aircraft, installing updated avionics and providing options for mission-specific equipment kit.
The 1,800shp Honeywell T53-L-703 engine is combined with dynamic components from the commercial twin-engined Bell 212 model, which improves the helicopter’s hover performance in hot conditions.
The aircraft’s maximum gross weight rises to 10,500lbs (4,670kg) compared to the original 9,040lbs (4,000kg), giving the Huey II a useful load of almost 4,900lbs. It can carry around a dozen troops.
Although not an attack helicopter, the Huey II can be armed with machine guns fired from the open doors of the troop compartment.
A US State Department official confirmed that the aircraft had been transferred to UPDF representatives in late November 2017. He added that the US assistance included not only the aircraft but also pilot and maintainer training.
The US was committed, he said, to working with Uganda to achieve full operational capability on the Hueys so that Uganda could “safely and effectively operate the aircraft in support of counter-terrorism operations”.
Uganda has faced a 20-year-long insurgency in the north of the country by the Lord’s Resistance Army. It also shares borders with the strife-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Aerosud Aviation in partnership with DB Schenker South Africa

Aerosud Aviation has selected DB Schenker South Africa as its new logistics partner.

Africa's first "civil" C295 begins humanitarian operations from Kenya

DAC Aviation International has received the first Airbus C295 to be used on the civil registry in Africa,

Angola orders C295s for maritime surveillance

Angola has ordered three C295 transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space, writes Jon Lake.

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics in strategic collaboration for Commercial Aviation

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed a strategic collaboration, for an initial ten-year period, that enables them to combine their highly complementary market leading services to offer broadband

AAD: Helix – the manned ISR platform

CADG chose AAD to launch its new manned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform – Helix.

AAD: Aurecon bringing its African ideas to life

Aurecon was at AAD for the first time to highlight its engineering capabilities and products. “We want to become a true African business,” explained managing director, Africa, Ferdi Nell.

TAA SK1009311218
See us at
AviationAfrica_BT0607280219MarrakechAirshow BT2507241018AAD2018 BTAirCargoAFA_BT220318210219