Civilian gunship shown at helicopter convention
Want your personal helicopter armed? Bell Helicopter is developing an armed commercial helicopter based on its 407 model. It is marketed to a wide range of law enforcement and paramilitary missions worldwide.
The 407AH (attack helicopter) can be customized for multiple weapon systems. “This is another example of Bell Helicopter responding directly to customer needs,” said Larry Roberts, senior vice president for commercial business. “The 407 is a high-performance platform with exceptional maneuverability, speed, payload, and range. It will meet the needs of a variety of parapublic agencies at a cost that is far less than that of a similarly equipped military aircraft—but with increased lethality.”
The helicopter’s initial weapon system includes a Dillon 7.62 M134T Minigun as well as a seven-shot rocket launching system, using 2.75-inch rockets. Optional equipment includes a chaff and flares system for countermeasures, sliding doors in the rear for cargo or personnel transportation, a cargo hook for search and rescue capability, and crew seat armor in case the bad guy shoots back.
A 407AH demonstrator was on display at the Helicopter Association International convention in Orlando, Fla., in March, before going on tour to Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. There will also be a United States tour.
March 7, 2011