Bell Helicopter delivered the 100th copy of a planned total of 349 H-1 helicopters during a ceremony at its Amarillo Assembly Center earlier this year. The U.S. Marine Corps H-1 helicopter program comprises both the UH-1Y utility helicopter and the AH-1Z attack helicopters.
Wednesday will be a big day for helicopter OEMs and could shape the future of the industry for decades to come, when Phase One proposals are due into the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. The proposals will likely lead to the construction of Joint Multi-role demonstration aircraft (JMR TD) that could fly as early as 2017, with the start of production expected between 2025 and 2030.
While it looks forward to accepting its first TAI/AgustaWestland T129 attack helicopter, Turkey is urgently seeking interim helicopter gunships in the face of increased terrorist actions by the PKK and other Kurdish separatist groups. The situation has become desperate as Turkey's current force of Bell AH-1W Cobras has fallen to just six operational aircraft, plus a few earlier single-engine Cobras.