Bell Helicopter has signed an agreement with the Republic of Turkey Undersecretariat for Defence Industries for the supply of five Bell 429 aircraft.
The Bell 429s will be operated by the Turkish General Directorate of Forestry (TGDF) to protect forest resources and coordinate firefighting operations.
“The decision to purchase Bell 429s for our mission was driven by the requirement for a fast, reliable and technologically-advanced helicopter. These aircraft will be performing challenging tasks, including firefighting operations, in demanding environments; the enhanced safety margins and exceptional speed of the 429 are critical advantages for the TGDF operations,” said Murad Bayar, the Undersecretary of Defence Industries for Turkey.
The TGDF will utilize the Bell 429s to survey and safeguard their woodland resources, comprising 27% of the surface area in Turkey. Upon delivery in early 2014, the new Bell 429s will replace TGDF’s existing fleet of helicopters.
“Delivering customer value is the focus of Bell Helicopter and our partnership with the Turkish General Directorate of Forestry is yet another example,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. “We are honored with TGDF’s endorsement of the Bell 429 for their multi-mission needs. This is an important milestone for the 429 and for Bell Helicopter in our mission to provide quality products and support to the European and Asian continents alike.”
The TGDF agreement follows the announcement of a contract with Bell Helicopter and the Turkish National Police (TNP) for the purchase of 15 Bell 429s. These aircraft, scheduled for delivery in August 2013, will carry out a variety of law enforcement missions from surveillance to air support of ground operations.
“Bell Helicopter is providing superb aircraft and support that meet the needs of parapublic operators in Turkey and beyond,” said Patrick Moulay, Bell Helicopter managing director for Europe. “Authorities in this region need aircraft capable of performing missions from coastal to high elevation environments and we are dedicated to meeting those requirements.” TGDF is part of the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Their mission is to protect forest resources against any threats or danger, to enhance forest resources in an eco-friendly manner and to achieve sustainable forest management that benefits society while maintaining ecosystem integrity. The Bell 429 is the world’s newest and most advanced light twin-engine helicopter. It has conducted extensive flight demonstrations in every continent, except Antarctica, and has been certified in more than 40 countries. With configuration options ranging from VIP to air-medical, law enforcement, utility and oil & gas, the Bell 429 offers superior mission capability and adaptability.