Bell Helicopter has returned to Turkey
Özgür Ekşi ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Bell will produce light helicopters for the Turkish police.The CEO of Bell Helicopter Textron, John Garrison, visited Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday at his official residence. The American helicopter company has returned to the Turkish market after a long hiatus.
The company won a Turkish police helicopter tender in January 2012. Turkey signed a contract with Bell to buy 15 “Bell 429” helicopters in March 2012, at a cost of approximately $150 million. The Turkish Police Department is expected to expand its fleet to 75 helicopters in the future. Turkey is preparing to build a new general-use helicopter.
The Turkish army is currently using helicopters produced by Bell in the country’s Southeast, as part of the fight against terrorism. Six two-engine and 27 single-engine Cobra attack helicopters are in service, and Turkey is expecting the delivery of 3 more two-engine Cobra helicopters from the U.S. government, once the pilots’ training is completed.
Bell Textron participated in Turkey’s first attack helicopter tender back in 2000, and it was announced that the company would start negotiations with Turkey’s Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSM), but the negotiations were never finalized.