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Bell Unit to Upgrade Hueys for Iraqi Air Force

FARNBOROUGH Air Show --- Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, today announced that US Helicopter, a division of Bell Aerospace Services Inc. (BellAero) has been awarded a contract from ARINC Engineering Systems to upgrade sixteen UH-1H helicopters to the enhanced Huey II configuration. US Helicopter is responsible for all aircraft refurbishment, modification, and flight test at its Ozark, Alabama, facility.

This is an important step for the Coalition Air Force Transition Team and the Multi National Security Command in assisting to stand up the Iraqi Air Force. These UH-1H aircraft will play a very critical role in developing the organic capability in Iraq to defend their country. Iraqi Air Force pilots will begin operating the aircraft in early 2007.

The Huey II upgrade starts with a zero-time overhaul to the proven, reliable Bell UH-1H helicopter and adds a more powerful engine, along with new dynamic components and tailboom. In addition, there is a new navigation and communication suite, special mission systems and total rewiring. The Huey II upgrade yields a significant performance increase and extends the service life by 20 years.

“The Huey II is just another example of how the proud legacy of the Huey continues to live on”, explained Michael Prieto, president of BellAero. “It is an honor and privilege for the Huey II Team to play a role in supporting this important operation.” The Huey II effort is lead by BellAero and includes Bell Helicopter, Honeywell, and McTurbine, Inc.

Bell Aerospace Services provides turnkey aviation maintenance and support services throughout the world. In June 2005, BellAero acquired US Helicopter, which is widely regarded as the premier maintenance and modification center for UH-1 helicopters in the world. Over the last fifteen years, US Helicopter has refurbished over five hundred UH-1 helicopters and installed over one hundred Huey II upgrade kits. BellAero is a subsidiary of Bell Helicopter.

US Helicopter Plays Role in Development of Iraqi Air Force