Bell Textron announced on March 15th that the Royal Bahrain Air Force received three Bell 505 helicopters during an inspection and acceptance event held in February 2023.
The Bahrain Defense Force has experience flying Bell 212 and several generations of AH-1 attack helicopters, but this is the first time they have received the 505 model. This delivery marks the first time that Bahrain has received 505 rotorcraft. The package also includes training, tools, and spare parts.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is following in the footsteps of other countries in the region by selecting the Bell 505 as its primary advanced military trainer.
The UAE’s Horizon International Flight Academy currently operates 12 Bell 505s, and in November 2022, the Royal Jordanian Air Force signed an agreement for 10 Bell 505s. Across the Middle East and Africa, over 30 Bell 505 helicopters are already in operation. The Bell 505 is also utilized as a military training helicopter by the Montenegro Air Force, the Republic of Korea Army and Navy as well as the Jamaica Defence Force.
“We are honored to provide the Bahrain Defense Force another premiere Bell asset to train the next generation of Bahrani pilots,” said Sameer Rehman, managing director at Bell flight. “Generations of Bahraini pilots have flown in Bell helicopters, and the Bell 505 will continue the tradition of excellence for years to come.”
Rehman also added “With low operating costs and high reliability, the Bell 505 has emerged as a customer favorite to prepare cadets for a safer and more effective transition to advanced helicopters”
Bell 505 is Bell’s five-seat aircraft featuring Garmin avionics and a dual channel FADEC-controlled engine. It has a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h) and useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg). According to the company, the helicopter has reached a milestone of over 100,000 global fleet hours.