South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has signed an agreement with American aerospace firm Bell Textron to purchase 40 US-made training helicopters.
Signed earlier this month, the deal includes the delivery of Bell 505 helicopters and eight simulators to train South Korean Army and Navy pilots.
According to DAPA, the aircraft will be equipped with the latest digital instrument panel and tactical navigation equipment for trainee pilots to receive the most up-to-date training.
South Korea is investing 170 billion won ($133 million) in the new training helicopters, which are expected to arrive by 2025.
“If the new helicopter is introduced, it is expected that concerns about safety accidents caused by the operation of outdated training helicopters will be resolved,” DAPA official Lee Jong-Hwa said. “It will greatly improve the effectiveness of education and training.”
The Bell 505 Helicopter
The Bell 505 is a light helicopter designed to train future military pilots and prepare them for the most challenging missions.
The open cabin aircraft includes integrated tie-downs and adjustable seats and can be utilized in various roles.
Capable of carrying up to five soldiers, the helicopter can fly at a top speed of 125 knots (231 kilometers/143 miles per hour) for 306 nautical miles (566 kilometers).
The 505 also features Garmin’s Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology, offering helicopter terrain awareness and a warning system, further improving situational awareness.
“The sky’s the limit with the Bell 505,” the company states. “A high-tech flight deck and adaptable cabin design make it extremely cost-competitive, and capable for any challenge.”