Bell and Subaru, highlighting their 412EPX military helicopter for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) UH-X program, are also collaborating on a commercial variant, the companies announced this week during the Farnborough Airshow. A commercial prototype of the 412EPX has undergone testing at Bell’s Mirabel facility in Canada, the companies said. FAA certification was achieved on July 5 and plans call to make the helicopter commercially available globally in the future.
"Under cooperation with Bell, the Subaru Bell 412EPX will provide a great opportunity to expand the commercial business,” said Shoichiro Tozuka, corporate executive vice president and president of aerospace company Subaru.
Formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries and a long-time Bell partner, Subaru in 2015 won the UH-X contract to provide a military version of the 412EPX to the JGSDF. The 412EPXs will replace UH-1Js that Subaru built under license with Bell. Deliveries of the 412EPXs to JGSDF will begin in 2022, and the aircraft will be deployed for island defense and disaster relief efforts, Tozuka said.
The Subaru Bell 412EPX features a more robust main rotor gearbox run-dry capability, increased internal maximum gross weight to 12,200 pounds, and a mast torque output of greater than 11 percent below 60 knots.
“Our relationship with Subaru extends over six decades,” said Bell president and CEO Mitch Snyder. “Together, we were the first to deliver military helicopters to Japan’s defense force. We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration on the UH-X and the 412EPX programs.”