FORT WORTH, Texas, May 12 (UPI) -- Bell Helicopter has announced a $461.1 million U.S. military contract to supply the U.S. Marine Corps with new utility and attack helicopters.
Covered under the award are 12 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters and 16 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, plus associated auxiliary fuel kits.
The company, which announced the award this week, said the contract was issued earlier this year.
"The UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters continue to perform for the United States Marine Corps, delivering on our promise of technologically advanced aircraft the Marines can rely on to accomplish their challenging missions," said Lisa Atherton, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. "The Venom and Viper are a powerful, comprehensive duo, designed and manufactured to reduce logistical requirements and environmentally hardened to perform for armed forces over land or sea."
The Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter can carry a wide array of ordnance and employs Bell's AH-1Z's long-range target sight system, which allows the identification and tracking of multiple targets.
The UH-1Y Venom is a combat-proven tactical utility helicopter for insertion or exfiltration of personnel. It was first deployed by the Marine Corps in 2009.
The helicopters are currently in production at the company's manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and also in the Amarillo, Texas, aircraft assembly facility.
Bell said the contract is part of the U.S. Marine Corps' H-1 Program of Record, which calls for 189 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 160 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters.