US oks a $150mn FMS from Slovakia for nine Bell 429 utility helicopters

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Slovakia
US oks a $150mn FMS from Slovakia for nine Bell 429 utility helicopters
The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Slovakia for nine Bell 429 light utility helicopters, for an estimated cost of $150 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on April 27, 2017.
A Slovakian National Police Bell 429 light utiliy helicopter
(Credit: Bell Helicopter)
Slovakia has requested a possible sale of nine Bell 429 Light Utility Helicopters with customer-unique modifications. Also included are WESCAM MX-10 cameras, training, spare parts, and logistical support, mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, special tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, airframe and engine spare parts, technical data, publications, maintenance work order/electronic change proposals, technical assistance, repair and return, quality assurance team, and transportation of aircraft. The estimated cost is $150 million.

"The proposed sale of the Bell 429 light utility helicopters will improve Slovakia’s capability to meet current and future threats. Slovakia will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats," the DSCA said.

Bell Helicopter's Bell 429 is a light twin-engine helicopter which took to the skies on Feb. 2007. It was mainly developed to adress the border protection, search and rescue, natural disaster relief missions, and emergency medical services markets. In 2015, Bell Helicopter handed over two Bell 429 to Slovakian National Police.

The Bell 429 rotorcraft features a payload of 1,250 kg, a cruise speed of 273 km/h and an operational range of 722 km. It is powered by two P&W PW207S1 turboshaft engines (1,100 shp).