Bell Helicopter makes deal valued at $433M with Philippines

Bell Helicopter 412

At the Singapore Air Show on Feb. 6, Bell Helicopter said it has come to an agreement with the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) for 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters that will be operated by the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Fort Worth-based Bell, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, did not release an amount for the contract, but sources from the air show said it amounted to about $233 million.

The 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters, fully configured and equipped with advanced features, are being acquired as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization plans, and were purchased by the DND through a government-to-government contract with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).

“We are honored that the Bell 412 will continue to serve the Philippines through the Philippine Air Force for many more years to come. Being a part of the armed forces of the Philippines is a privilege and responsibility that we at Bell Helicopter take very seriously,” said Sameer A. Rehman, managing director of Bell Helicopter Asia Pacific. “Bell’s helicopters have been a key component for the Philippine Air Force in the past and we look forward to bringing these aircraft into service quickly to serve the citizens of the Philippines.”

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The helicopters will be used for a variety of missions such as disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport, though some in Canada have raised human rights concerns about the Philippine Air Force.

The Bell H-13 Sioux, a variant of the iconic Bell 47, was the first helicopter to enter into service with the Philippine Air Force in 1955. The Philippine Air Force has operated derivations of the Bell UH-1H since the late 1960s, and since 1994 when they received their first two Bell 412s. More recently, Bell Helicopter delivered eight 412EP aircraft to the Philippines in 2015.

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 BasiX Pro system is specifically designed to meet the requirements of twin-engine helicopters and is optimized for IFR, Category A and JAR OPS3 compliant operations. The avionics suite also includes high resolution digital maps, electronic charts and approach plates, and ADS-B transponder. The Bell 412EPI features the BLR Strake and FastFin system, which modifies the tailboom to optimize airflow and improve handling, safety and lift. The Bell 412EPI uses Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines, can carry 14 passengers and has a range of 364 nautical miles.

The news of the sale comes shortly after Bell’s parent company,

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Textron, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $106 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, the Providence, Rhode Island-based company said it had a loss of 40 cents. Earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses and restructuring costs, came to 74 cents per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 77 cents per share.

The maker of Cessna small planes and Bell helicopters posted revenue of $4.02 billion in the period, which also did not meet Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $4.04 billion.

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For the year, the company reported profit of $307 million, or $1.14 per share. Revenue was reported as $14.2 billion.

Textron expects full-year earnings to be $2.95 to $3.15 per share, with revenue expected to be $14.6 billion.

Textron shares have risen slightly more than 6 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed nearly 6 percent. The stock has climbed 27 percent in the last 12 months.


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