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Bell Textron Inc. has announced that two Japanese prefectures have placed orders for two Bell 412EPI helicopters. The orders came from the Wakayama and Ishikawa Prefectures, through Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG) and EuroTec Japan Corporation. Each prefecture has ordered one Bell 412EPI, and the aircraft will be operated by their respective firefighting departments.
“We are honored that the Wakayama and Ishikawa prefectures have selected the Bell 412EPI for their firefighting and disaster relief and response missions,” said Jacinto Monge, managing director, North Asia, Bell. “This agreement demonstrates the Bell 412EPI’s strength in the Japanese para-public sector and the confidence the Japanese government has in the aircraft to save lives.”
The Bell 412, and its variants, offer the most rugged, medium twin-engine helicopter available, with the best readiness rate of any helicopter in its class. The Bell 412EPI improves the Bell 412 platform with the Bell BasiX Pro fully integrated glass flight deck, providing critical flight information at a glance for greater situational awareness and safety.
The Bell 412EPI continues to be the twin-engine helicopter of choice in the Asia Pacific para-public sector, with governments in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand incorporating the aircraft in their operations.
Bell Helicopter’s history in Japan started with the delivery of three Bell 47D-1s to Mainichi Press, Yomiuri Press and Chunichi Press on Nov. 24, 1952. Historically, Bell has supplied most of the helicopters – more than 1,500 aircraft – that have been used or are still in service in Japan. In July last year, Bell and Subaru announced a collaboration on a commercial enhancement of the Bell 412 EPI, which was type-certified as the 412 EPX, in support of the Japan UH-X program.