Bell 412EPI helicopter (Source: Bell Helicopter)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippines has signed an agreement to buy 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters from the US-based aircraft manufacturer Bell Helicopter, aiming to modernise its air force.

The deal, reached during the Singapore aviation exhibition, was part of the country’s “Vision 2” plan to upgrade its armed forces. Earlier, the Philippine government approved spending 234.1 million USD on aircraft.

The two-engine Bell 412EPI can carry 14 people. It is fully equipped with modern features to perform humanitarian, search and rescue and people and equipment transport tasks.

According to Sameer Rehman, Bell Helocopter’s CEO for Asia-Pacific, this is not the first time the Philippines has bought helicopters from the firm. The country’s air force bought Bell UH-1H Iroquois in late 1960s and Bell 412 in 1990s. Recently, Bell Helicopter delivered 8 Bell 412EP helicopters to the Philippines, he noted.

Bell Helicopter, formally known as Bell Aircraft Corporation, was established in 1935. Its headquarters are located in Texas, the US.-VNA