Bell Helicopter Textron displayed its militarized 407AH at the Dubai Air Show, promoting it and the IA407 being developed for the Iraqi Armed Forces. Both aircraft use the civilian-certified Bell 407 modified to carry an array of aerial weapons. However, the major difference between them is that the IA407 is strictly an Army program, with Bell selling the civil 407 to the U.S. Army, which will militarize it for sale to Iraqi forces through the Department of Defense’s foreign military sales (FMS) program.
Bell has commitments for 27 IA407s for the U.S. Army for resell to the Iraqi forces. Of these, three are to be strictly trainers without weapons, which the Army has now delivered to the Iraqis. The rest will be weaponized. The U.S. Army is still in the process of qualifying these aircraft.
“The 407AH starts with a certified 407, just as with the IA407,” said Steve Schultz, director of Middle East/Africa for Bell. “But in this case, we’ve done the design, the development, the platform we certified. We believe that we’ve developed an aircraft that is much more flexible, much more capable because of the broad range of missions that can be done with it. We call it a multi-mission aircraft.”
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