A he­li­copter for the world

The op­er­a­tors of the ubiq­ui­tous Huey

Aviation Classics - - CONTENTS - Words: Tim Call­away

The Huey was to sell around the world al­most from the mo­ment it first flew, the light but pow­er­ful de­sign prov­ing to be the so­lu­tion to op­er­a­tors’ needs in cli­mates and con­di­tions that had se­verely limited he­li­copter per­for­mance in the past. When this per­for­mance was added to the sheer re­li­a­bil­ity built into the Huey, it was not only a popular choice but a ver y long lived one.

The use of the sin­gle en­gined vari­ants of the Huey in Latin Amer­ica has been thor­oughly cov­ered by San­ti­ago Ri­vas in his ar­ti­cle on page 64 of this is­sue, but that is only part of the he­li­copter’s in­ter­na­tional suc­cess. The US and UK’S use of the type has been sim­i­larly cov­ered in de­tail, but here we list the forces that have used, and in­deed still use, the Huey in its many other forms, in­clud­ing the mul­ti­engined vari­ants.


In 2008, 10 ex-us Army UH-1HS were sup­plied to the Afghan Air Force to op­er­ate as pi­lot train­ers and util­ity trans­ports along­side the larger fleet of Mil Mi-17s. Th­ese re­main on strength as of 2014.


The Al­ba­nian Air Force ac­quired three Agusta Bell AB 205A-1s as util­ity trans­ports from Italy in 2004, four more be­ing or­dered for de­liv­ery by 2006. Three re­main in ser­vice as of 2014.


The Al­ge­rian Air Force has three Bell 412s sup­plied by the US dur­ing the late 1980s.


The An­golan Na­tional Air Force has nine Bell 212s cur­rently on strength, the first four be­ing de­liv­ered dur­ing 2005 fol­lowed by five more in 2013.


Aside from the air force, army and navy use of the UH-1D and H as al­ready dis­cussed, the

Army took de­liv­ery of two Model 212s, AE450 and 451, in 1976. AE-451 was lost in the Antarc­tic on Jan­uary 11, 1977, while 450 is still used as a VIP trans­port. The Fuerza Aerea Ar­gentina took de­liv­ery of 12 Model 212s (H81 to H-88) be­tween 1978 and 1982, two be­ing trans­ferred from the Is­raeli Air Force, fol­lowed by one more in 2000. Th­ese were used as util­ity trans­ports and search and res­cue air­craft, one be­ing trans­ferred to Canada in 2003 and one to Brazil in 2006. The fleet has been ex­panded with the ac­qui­si­tion of three Bell 412s in 2014 to sup­ple­ment the re­main­ing seven 212s.


The first over­seas cus­tomer for the UH-1 was Australia, the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force (RAAF) tak­ing de­liv­ery of 24 UH-1BS be­tween Septem­ber 1962 and early 1964. They were fol­lowed by two UH-1DS and 54 UH-1HS be­gin­ning in 1966, 25 of the later be­ing ex-us Army air­craft. Th­ese all served with 5 and 9 Squadrons, the lat­ter be­ing de­ployed to Viet­nam in 1966 in the mede­vac and troop trans­port roles. To es­cort th­ese mis­sions, sev­eral of the 9 Squadron UH-1HS were con­verted to gun­ships, known as Bushrangers. Th­ese were fit­ted with twin M134 mini­guns and seven tube rocket pods, some with both on the rear mounts, some with the guns on the for­ward mounts and rocket pods on the rear. The rear mounts also sup­ported pin­tles, which un­usu­ally mounted a pair of M60 ma­chine guns for the door gun­ners. Tremen­dously ef­fec­tive for a rel­a­tively small unit, the 9 Squadron UH-1S flew nearly 223,500 sor­ties dur­ing the con­flict for the loss of only five he­li­copters. The UH-1BS be­gan to be re­placed in 1984, a num­ber be­ing trans­ferred to the RAAF School of Ra­dio at Laver­ton be­fore be­ing dis­posed of dur­ing the early 1990s, sev­eral to the civil mar­ket. The RAAF UH-1HS were also de­ployed as part of the Multi­na­tional Force and Ob­servers in the Si­nai re­gion of Egypt be­tween 1982 and 1986. In 1989 the re­spon­si­bil­ity for bat­tle­field he­li­copters was trans­ferred to Army Avi­a­tion, the UH-1HS be­ing taken over by the 171st Avi­a­tion Squadron and the 5th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment which flew them un­til the last was re­tired in Septem­ber 2007. The Royal Aus­tralian Navy (RAN) also op­er­ated the UH-1 in an in­ter­est­ing mix of mod­els. All of the eight he­li­copters were ba­si­cally UH-1BS with the T53-L-11 tur­bines and nar­row chord ro­tors. How­ever, at least two were fit­ted with the larger in­ter­nal fuel tanks of the UH-1C and all of them had the roof mounted cabin winches of the UH-1E. All of th­ese air­craft were op­er­ated by 723 Squadron from 1964, sev­eral he­li­copters from the unit be­ing de­ployed to Viet­nam with the Aus­tralian Ex­per­i­men­tal Mil­i­tary Unit. The last of the RAN Hueys were re­tired in 1989.


The Aus­trian Air Force (Öster­re­ichis­che Luft­stre­itkräfte) was the first ex­port cus­tomer for the Agusta Bell AB 204, the first of 26 AB 204Bs be­ing de­liv­ered in May 1963. Th­ese were to serve with the 2nd Hub­schrauber­staffel of the 3rd Fliegerreg­i­ment based at Linz/hörsching and were given the codes 4D-BA to BZ. By 1981, th­ese be­gan to be with­drawn, five be­ing trans­ferred to the Swedish Air Force and one to the civil reg­is­ter in Italy as I-HUEY. The AB 204Bs were grad­u­ally re­placed by 26 AB 212s, the first 18 of which were or­dered in 1977 and en­tered ser­vice in 1980. Th­ese were given the codes 5D-HA to HZ and served with the 1st and 3rd Fliegerreg­i­ment, cur­rently equip­ping the 3rd Fliegerreg­i­ment and the Le­ichte Trans­porthub­schrauber­staffel. In 2013 the Air Sup­port Com­mand un­der­took an avion­ics up­grade and life ex­ten­sion pro­gramme to the air­frames which should see the AB 212s re­main in ser­vice for at least an­other 10 years.


The Bahrain Public Se­cu­rity Ser­vice or­dered a sin­gle Bell 205A-1 in 1975 which en­tered ser­vice in 1977 with the se­rial BPS-7. It was re­tired in 1979, be­com­ing 9V-BML reg­is­tered in Sin­ga­pore. In 1982, the Bahrain State Po­lice ac­quired its first two Bell 412s, BPS-03 and 04, fol­lowed by a 412SP, BPS-05, in 1989. Th­ese were joined by five more 412EPS be­tween 2008 and 2009 which re­main in ser­vice to­day. The Royal Bahraini Air Force be­gan pur­chas­ing Agusta Bell AB 212s with the ac­qui­si­tion of a pair of he­li­copters in 1980, ini­tially op­er­ated by 3 Squadron at Rifa’a. In 2014, the fleet had grown to 18 air­frames.


The Bangladesh Air Force (Bangladesh Bi­man Bahini) or­dered its first Bell 212 in 1976, and over the next 10 years it was to ac­quire 14 more. The orig­i­nal air­craft, BH806, c/n 30806, was sold to a Canadian civil op­er­a­tor in 2008, the rest re­main in ser­vice to­day.


The use of the UH-1H by Bo­livia has al­ready been cov­ered, but it is worth not­ing that two

Bell 212s were also ac­quired by the Bo­li­vian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Bo­li­viana) in 1972, given the se­rial num­bers FAB-101 and 102. FAB-101 was later trans­ferred to the Royal Brunei Air Force, while 102 was writ­ten off in an ac­ci­dent in March 1980.


The Air Force Brigade of Bos­nia Herze­gov­ina was given 15 ex-us Army Bell UH-1H he­li­copters as part of the ‘Equip and Train’ pro­gramme fol­low­ing the civil war in the coun­try. Five of th­ese air­craft are in regular use to­day in trans­port, mede­vac and train­ing roles, the re­main­der are kept as a re­serve.


Be­gin­ning in 1988, the Botswana De­fence Force Air Wing re­ceived five Bell 412SPS fol­lowed by two more of the 412EP model in 1990. Th­ese he­li­copters re­main in ser­vice to­day.


The Sul­tanate of Brunei Air Wing, now the Royal Brunei Air Force, be­gan its Huey op­er­a­tions in 1971. The first ac­qui­si­tions were three Bell 212s (AMDB-101, 105 and 106) and a sin­gle 205A-1 (AMDB-102), which were fol­lowed by 11 more Bell 212s (AMDB-108, 114 to 120 and 131 to 134). Nine of the he­li­copters re­main in ser­vice to­day.


Two Bell 412EPS were de­liv­ered to the Cameroon Air Force’s Rapid In­ter­ven­tion Bat­tal­ion in Fe­bru­ary 2010, one be­ing lost in an ac­ci­dent in Novem­ber that year, the other re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day.


The first Hueys for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) were 10 CUH-1HS pur­chased in 1968 and given the se­ri­als RCAF 101 to 110. Th­ese were UH-1HS mod­i­fied for use in the ex­treme cli­mates to be found in Canada. Later re­des­ig­nated CH-118 Iro­quois, they served as light trans­ports and search and res­cue air­craft un­til be­ing re­placed in the mid 1990s. One of the air­craft, RCAF 109, had the tail boom of a Bell 212 in­stalled with the tail ro­tor on the star­board side af­ter its tail boom was used to re­pair RCAF 105, 109 some­times be­ing re­ferred to as a CH-119. The suc­cess of the first Hueys in ser­vice en­sured that Canada was the first cus­tomer to or­der the twin en­gined ver­sion of the Huey, the Model 212 or UH-1N. The twin en­gined lay­out of­fered greater safety in the rugged Canadian op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Ini­tially known as CUH-1NS but later des­ig­nated CH135s, 50 of the new type were or­dered, the first be­ing de­liv­ered on May 3, 1971. Given the se­ri­als 135101 to 135150, all 50 air­craft were de­liv­ered in un­der a year. Aside from their do­mes­tic du­ties in sup­port of the Canadian Forces, the he­li­copters were to see wide­spread use in sup­port of UN op­er­a­tions across the globe. Canadian CH-135S were to per­form peace­keep­ing and mon­i­tor­ing du­ties in Si­nai, So­ma­lia, Haiti and Cen­tral Amer­ica among oth­ers, un­til the last were re­tired in July 1997. The sur­viv­ing 41 air­frames were pur­chased by the US Gov­ern­ment in De­cem­ber 1999. Two were re­tained in the US, the other 39 be­ing sup­plied to the Columbian Army, Navy and the Na­tional Po­lice. Both the CH-118 and CH-135 were re­placed in ser­vice by the CH-146 Grif­fon, a devel­op­ment of the Bell 412EP with a larger cabin heater for the cold con­di­tions in Canada and an avion­ics suite tai­lored for the Canadian armed forces. Pro­duced at the Bell fac­tory in Mirabel, Canada, 100 CH-146S were de­liv­ered be­tween 1995 and 1997 and given the se­ri­als 146400 to 146499. They have been used in the search and res­cue, com­bat sup­port and tac­ti­cal trans­port roles with 10 RCAF Squadrons and are not ex­pected to be re­tired un­til at least 2021. Nine of the CH-146S were given civil reg­is­tra­tions and trans­ferred to Al­lied Wings in 2007, who op­er­ate the pi­lot and crew train­ing fa­cil­ity for the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 2008, five CH-146S were de­ployed to Kan­da­har in Afghanistan to op­er­ate as part of the Joint Task Force Air Wing based there.


The Chilean use of the UH-1H has been cov­ered in de­tail ear­lier in this is­sue, the grad­ual re­place­ment of th­ese he­li­copters by the Bell 412 be­gin­ning in 2000. Cur­rently, 15 412s, mostly 412EPS, are in ser­vice along­side the re­main­ing UH-1HS. The Chilean Navy pur­chased a Bell 412 in 2001 which it op­er­ated for five years un­til 2006, when it was trans­ferred to a civil op­er­a­tor in the US.


The UH-1B and H use by the Columbian Air Force, Army and Po­lice has al­ready been cov­ered, but th­ese forces and the Navy have also been equipped with the 212 and 412 ver­sions of the he­li­copter. The Columbian Air Force ac­quired a sin­gle Bell 212 in 1972 as a VIP trans­port, this he­li­copter be­ing fol­lowed in 1984 by two more trans­ferred from the Columbian Po­lice and five from the US. In 1995, the 212 fleet was fur­ther ex­panded with nine more he­li­copters, all of which were for­merly Canadian civil reg­is­tered air­craft. Also to be used in the VIP trans­port role, two Bell 412s were pur­chased in 1984, one be­ing lost in 1991 and re­placed by a Bell 412HP in 1993. This air­craft was also lost in an ac­ci­dent in early 2012, and was re­placed by a Bell 412EP in Oc­to­ber that year. Ten Bell 212s and two 412s re­main in ser­vice with the Air Force to­day. As al­ready men­tioned, the en­tire fleet of Canadian armed forces ver­sion of the Bell 212, the CH-135, were pur­chased by the US State Depart­ment, 33 of which were trans­ferred to the Columbian Army in 1999. Six­teen of th­ese he­li­copters re­main in ser­vice to­day, some hav­ing been trans­ferred again to the Columbian Navy and Po­lice. Six of the CH-135S were moved to the Columbian Navy in April 2009, five of which are still in ser­vice sup­ple­mented by four Bell 412SPS re­fur­bished by Is­raeli Air­craft In­dus­tries and pur­chased in 1998. Since then, two more Bell 412EPS were de­liv­ered in Jan­uary 2014, the twin en­gined Hueys be­ing used by the Navy to sup­port their Naval In­fantr y forces. The Columbian Po­lice first ac­quired three Bell 212s in 1980, two of which were trans­ferred to the Columbian Air Force in 1984. Th­ese were re­placed by three ex-us Air Force UH-1NS, one of which was lost in an ac­ci­dent in De­cem­ber 2005. As with the Columbian Army and Navy, the Po­lice also re­ceived CH-135S, in their case 10 he­li­copters trans­ferred in 1999. Since then, one air­craft, PNC-5005, has been scrapped and one other, PNC-5008, was lost in an ac­ci­dent in Jan­uary 2002.


As cov­ered ear­lier, the Fuerza Aerea Sal­vadoreña op­er­ates the UH-1H and M, but in 2001 also ac­quired five Bell 412EPS. One of th­ese, FAS 254, was con­verted into a VIP trans­port for the Pres­i­dent in 2006.


The Eritrean Air Force op­er­ates the Agusta Bell AB 412 Gri­fone with 7 Squadron. Four were pur­chased in 1996 and three re­main in ser­vice to­day.


A con­fus­ing set of data re­gard­ing the sup­ply of Hueys to Ethiopia leads me to be­lieve that there were two sep­a­rate ac­qui­si­tions. The first was that the Ethiopian Air Force re­ceived six ex-us Army Bell UH-1HS, some­times wrongly iden­ti­fied as Bell 205s, in the late 1960s or early 1970s, he­li­copters that were later trans­ferred to the Army in the trans­port role. Th­ese were sup­ple­mented in the early 1980s by the pur­chase of six Agusta Bell AB 205s for the Air Force and six Agusta Bell AB 204Bs for the Ethiopian Army. The lat­ter have some­times been misiden­ti­fied as UH-1MS and op­er­ate in the gun­ship role with the Army. To­day, it is be­lieved all Ethiopian Hueys are op­er­ated by the Army, and 12 re­main in ser­vice. If any­one has clear in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the ori­gin and cur­rent sta­tus of th­ese he­li­copters we would be pleased to pub­lish it on our web­site.


The af­ter­math of the break up of the for­mer Soviet Union saw in­de­pen­dent air forces formed in many for­mer states. The Ge­or­gian Air Force was formed in 1992, see­ing ac­tion that year against sep­a­ratists in Abk­hazia, and again in Au­gust 2008 in the short war with Rus­sia. Be­gin­ning in 2002, 12 ex-us Army UH-1HS and six UH-1NS were sup­plied to act as trans­port and li­ai­son air­craft. At the NATO Wales sum­mit in Septem­ber 2014, it was an­nounced that th­ese he­li­copters would be sup­ple­mented with a force of UH-60 Black­hawks as part of a pro­gramme to re­tire the for­mer Soviet types from the Ge­or­gian in­ven­tory.


The 352 Dornier li­cence built UH-1DS for the Ger­man Luft­waffe and Heer has al­ready been cov­ered in de­tail on page 86. As well as th­ese sin­gle en­gined ver­sions, the Bun­des­gren­zschutz (BGS) be­gan to re­ceive the first of 10 Bell 212 twin en­gined he­li­copters in 1974, the last be­ing de­liv­ered in 1978. The BGS was merged into the Bun­de­spolizei in 2005, the he­li­copters be­ing trans­ferred to the new ser­vice. In May 2012, af­ter 38 years of con­tin­u­ous ser­vice, the last two Bell 212s were re­tired, go­ing to civil op­er­a­tors in Ger­many and South Africa.


The Ghana Air Force orig­i­nally ac­quired two Agusta Bell AB 212s to­ward the end of the

1980s with the se­ri­als G650 and 651 for use as VIP trans­ports in a flight based at Ac­cra. Th­ese were later sup­ple­mented with a pair of Bell 412SPS which were op­er­ated by 3 Squadron also at Ac­cra. One 212 was lost in an ac­ci­dent in 2002, while a 412 was lost in a land­ing ac­ci­dent in 2007.


The Hel­lenic Air Force, Navy and Army Avi­a­tion have been, and in­deed still are, op­er­a­tors of sev­eral ver­sions of the Huey. The first were sup­plied to the Hel­lenic Army Avi­a­tion un­der the US Mil­i­tary As­sis­tance Pro­gramme (MAP) in 1969. A to­tal of 18 Bell UH-1DS and 68 UH-1HS were de­liv­ered in batches over the next four years to per­form util­ity trans­port du­ties and a sin­gle Bell 212, EΣ801, was ac­quired in 1972 to act as a VIP trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tions air­craft. This re­li­able he­li­copter re­mains in ser­vice in this role to­day. The trans­port he­li­copters were sup­ple­mented by three Agusta Bell AB 204Bs and 40 AB 205As de­liv­ered be­tween 1974 and 1979. Eight of the AB 205As were later trans­ferred to the Hel­lenic Air Force in ex­change for their CH-47D Chi­nooks in a ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of the trans­port force. A to­tal of 69 UH-1S and 27 AB 205As re­main in ser­vice to­day. As well as the eight AB 205As trans­ferred from Army Avi­a­tion, the Hel­lenic Air Force re­ceived two batches of their own Hueys, six AB 205As in 1972 fol­lowed by a fur­ther six AB 205A-1s. Th­ese 20 he­li­copters were all op­er­ated by 358 Squadron at Elef­sis in the mede­vac and search and res­cue roles, 12 of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. This unit also re­ceived four Bell 212s in two batches of two be­gin­ning in 1972, us­ing the air­craft in the VIP trans­port role. The Hel­lenic Navy be­gan to re­ceive its first batch of 11 Agusta Bell AB 212ASW an­ti­sub­ma­rine war­fare he­li­copters in 1979, eight of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. Th­ese were sup­ple­mented by two AB 212EW elec­tronic war­fare he­li­copters in 1981.


The Guyana De­fence Force Air Com­mand flew three Bell 212s, SR-GEO, GEQ and GEZ, be­tween 1976 and 1994. A sin­gle Bell 412 was pur­chased in 1984, and is now the only Huey op­er­ated by the force.


The use of the UH-1B and H by the Fuerza Aérea Hon­dureña has al­ready been cov­ered, but in 1986 the force be­gan to take de­liv­ery of the first of 10 Bell 412SPS in the util­ity trans­port, mede­vac and fire fight­ing roles. In 2014 a sin­gle 412EP was pur­chased for use as the Pres­i­den­tial VIP trans­port.


The In­done­sian Army ac­quired 16 Bell 205A-1 he­li­copters in 1977, 12 of which are still listed as in ser­vice as of 2014. In 1988, four lo­cally pro­duced Nbell 412s were de­liv­ered to the In­done­sian Army as attack he­li­copters, while six more were de­liv­ered to the Navy in the anti-sub­ma­rine and ship­ping roles. To­day, 37 Nbell 412s are listed as in ser­vice with the Army and three more with the Navy.


The Im­pe­rial Ira­nian Air Force, Army and Navy had all been sup­plied with the Bell 205, 205A and 212 prior to the Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion of 1979. An or­der for 12 ad­di­tional Bell 212s for the navy had been placed as late as 1990 to sup­ple­ment the 14 al­ready in ser­vice. How­ever, the most nu­mer­ous ver­sion of the Huey ac­quired by Iran was the 214A, a more pow­er­ful Huey with the 2930hp Ly­coming LTC4B-8D tur­bine which had been de­vel­oped specif­i­cally from Ira­nian Army in­ter­est in a high per­for­mance ver­sion. The first air­craft was de­liv­ered to Iran Im­pe­rial Army Avi­a­tion on April 26, 1975, Iran order­ing 287 Model 214As from Bell along with 50 more to be built in Iran un­der li­cence. Iran also re­quested a ver­sion of the 214A equipped for search and res­cue mis­sions for the Im­pe­rial Ira­nian Air Force, which be­came known as the 214C. Even­tu­ally, 296 214As and 39 214Cs were de­liv­ered be­fore the 1979 Revo­lu­tion, which ended the plans for li­cence pro­duc­tion. In­for­ma­tion on the cur­rent fleet is con­flict­ing and dif­fi­cult to con­firm but it is es­ti­mated that the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran Air Force still op­er­ates two Bell 212s, while the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran Army has around 15 Bell 212s and 214s in ser­vice and the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran Navy four Bell 212s. Along with th­ese air­craft, an un­known num­ber of the re­verse en­gi­neered Panha Shabaviz 2-75 which en­tered pro­duc­tion in 2002 have been built, based on the 205 and 214C air­frame.


In 2005, the US sup­plied 16 ex-royal Jor­da­nian Air Force UH-1HS up­graded to Huey II stan­dard to the Iraqi Army Avi­a­tion Com­mand to sup­port se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions in the coun­try. The Iraqi Air Force has also placed an or­der for 12 Bell 412s to ful­fil the util­ity trans­port role.


The Is­raeli De­fence Force Air Force op­er­ated a num­ber of UH-1DS and 10 Agusta Bell AB 205A-1AS be­tween 1969 and 1975. The lat­ter model in­cluded fuse­lage strength­en­ing for weapons mounts and a mil­i­tary avion­ics suite and was pro­duced specif­i­cally for the Is­raeli De­fence Force Air Force for use as both troop trans­ports and gun­ships. Th­ese were fol­lowed by seven Bell 212s and two UH-1NS which were used be­tween 1975 and 2002.


The suc­cess­ful and long run­ning pro­duc­tion of var­i­ous mod­els of the Huey by Agusta in Italy has been cov­ered ear­lier on page 86. Be­gin­ning in 1961, the Agusta Bell AB 204B was pro­duced for the Ital­ian mil­i­tary, 43 be­ing op­er­ated by the Ital­ian Air Force un­til 1984 and 48 by the Ital­ian Army up to 1995. Fur­ther ex­am­ples were pro­duced for the Corpo Cara­binieri as well as the Vig­ili del Fuoco, the Ital­ian fire fight­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion. The devel­op­ment of the first an­ti­sub­ma­rine Huey, the AB 204AS of 1964, saw 35 built for the Ital­ian Navy who used them up to the early 1980s. The in­tro­duc­tion of the AB 205A in 1966 and the AB 205A-1 three years later saw 115 of th­ese mod­els pro­duced for the Ital­ian Army, 60 of which are still in ser­vice to­day. Four more were built for the Vig­ili del Fuoco in 1971 and eight for the Corpo Cara­binieri in 1974, along with a sin­gle AB 205B, the lat­ter us­ing them un­til 1998. The twin en­gined AB 212 en­tered pro­duc­tion in 1973, 65 of the 212ASW an­ti­sub­ma­rine he­li­copter and three of the 212GE elec­tronic war­fare vari­ant be­ing built for the Ital­ian Navy, 38 of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. A fur­ther 33 ex­am­ples of the AB 212AM were built for the Ital­ian Air Force along with three of the AB 212ICO Com­bat Search and Res­cue he­li­copters. Th­ese be­gan to en­ter ser­vice in 1975 and 33 re­main in ser­vice to­day. The Ital­ian Army re­ceived 19 AB 212s for use as util­ity trans­ports be­gin­ning in 1983, six of which are still in use. The most re­cent pro­duc­tion ver­sion, the AB 412, be­gan pro­duc­tion in 1983 with 37 be­ing built for the Corpo Cara­binieri, 10 of which were AB 412SPS and 15 more AB 412HPS. In 1987, 24 of the AB 412 Gri­fone were built in three batches for the Ital­ian Army, all of which are still in ser­vice to­day. Th­ese were fol­lowed by 23 AB 412s for the Vig­ili del Fuoco de­liv­ered in three batches be­gin­ning in 1984 and 10 more for the Ital­ian Coast Guard de­liv­ered in 1993. Two other state ser­vices in Italy op­er­ate the AB 412, the State Forestry Depart­ment re­ceived 18 and the Guardia di Fi­nanza a fur­ther 22 ex­am­ples.


Aside from the four UH-1HS al­ready cov­ered, the Ja­maica De­fence Force Air Wing op­er­ated three Bell 212s with the 2nd Flight, JDF6, 7 and 8, be­tween 1973 and 1999. In 1998, the 2nd Flight ac­quired a sin­gle Bell 412EP which is still flown to­day.


Li­cence pro­duc­tion of the UH-1B and Bell 204B by Fuji in Ja­pan be­gan in 1962. A to­tal of 86 UH-1BS and four 204Bs were built for the Ja­pan Ground Self De­fence Force (JGSDF) which used them in the util­ity trans­port and gun­ship roles up to 1975. Th­ese were fol­lowed into pro­duc­tion by 133 UH-1HS, again for the JGSDF to re­place the UH-1BS. The first en­tered ser­vice in 1970, 28 of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. Fuji also de­vel­oped the 205B-2, an up­graded mil­i­tary trans­port ver­sion known as the UH-1J. This fea­tured the more stream­lined nose of the Model 212 and the up­rated 1800hp T53-L-703 en­gine, along with infrared jam­mers, a night vi­sion gog­gle com­pat­i­ble cock­pit and a vi­bra­tion re­duc­tion sys­tem. Fuji built 126 of this ver­sion for the JGSDF, the first be­ing de­liv­ered in 1993. The Ja­panese Coast Guard used a sin­gle Bell 212 be­tween 1981 and 2009, and still uses a sin­gle Bell 412EP to­day.


The Royal Jor­da­nian Air Force ac­quired 36 exUS Army UH-1HS and 10 EX-USAF UH-1NS be­gin­ning in 1994 un­der a Mu­tual De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Pro­gramme with the US. Six­teen of the UH-1HS were sup­plied to the Iraqi Army Avi­a­tion Com­mand to as­sist in se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions in 2005. The re­main­der equip 8 Squadron at Am­man and are used in the util­ity trans­port, spe­cial forces sup­port and bor­der se­cu­rity roles. Many of the Jor­da­nian Hueys have been up­graded with the BLR un­der fuse­lage strakes to im­prove their per­for­mance in high tem­per­a­tures.


The Kuwait Air Force op­er­ated eight Agusta Bell AB 205As, the first of which was de­liv­ered in Novem­ber 1969. Th­ese were given the se­ri­als 909 to 916 and served into the late 1980s, af­ter which they were re­placed by the Aérospa­tiale SA 330F Puma.


The Lao Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Air Force ac­quired ap­prox­i­mately 12 UH-1DS and Hs sup­plied by the US and then left in coun­try in the af­ter­math of the Viet­nam War. Four of th­ese he­li­copters are re­ported to still be in ser­vice.


Four vari­ants of the Huey are in ser­vice with the Le­banese Air Force, the first six Bell 212s hav­ing en­tered ser­vice in 1980. Th­ese were fol­lowed by an ad­di­tional six Agusta Bell 212s, but by 2000 th­ese he­li­copters had all been with­drawn to stor­age. Six of the air­frames may yet be re­fur­bished. Along­side the 212s, 24 UH-1HS had be­gun to be de­liv­ered in 1995. Sev­eral of th­ese were lo­cally mod­i­fied with three py­lons, one un­der the cen­tre­line and one on ei­ther side of the rear cabin to carry ei­ther 250kg or 400kg bombs, an un­usual role for a he­li­copter. Th­ese saw ac­tion against mil­i­tant forces in Le­banon in 2007, but it was de­cided to up­grade the he­li­copters af­ter this ex­pe­ri­ence, 11 of the UH-1HS be­ing placed in stor­age from 2010 on­wards. Six more UH1Hs, con­verted to the Huey II stan­dard by Bell, were de­liv­ered in De­cem­ber 2012 and it is in­tended that 18 more Huey IIS will be or­dered to fully re­place the orig­i­nal UH-1H fleet.


Two Agusta Bell AB 412s were pur­chased for the Le­sotho De­fence Force Air Wing in April 1986, fol­lowed by a Bell 412SP in Oc­to­ber. One of the AB 412s, LDF24, was de­stroyed in an ac­ci­dent in 1993, while one of the Bell 412SPS, LDF26, was sold in 2001. Th­ese were re­placed by LDF49, a Bell 412SP pur­chased in May 1998, and LDF47, a Bell 412EP pur­chased in May 2007.


The Libyan Army pur­chased two Agusta Bell AB 212s in the late 1980s. Their use and where­abouts are un­known.


The Mace­do­nian Air Force’s Trans­porten He­likop­er­ski Sk­vadron based at Petro­vec op­er­ate two ex-hel­lenic Army UH-1HS which were trans­ferred to Mace­do­nia in 2001.


The use of the sin­gle en­gined Huey vari­ants was cov­ered ear­lier in this is­sue, but the Fuerza Aerea Mex­i­cana re­ceived its first two Bell 212s in 1971, fol­lowed by a sec­ond pair in 1975. Be­tween 1988 and 1990, 25 more were pur­chased, seven of the fleet be­ing lost in ac­ci­dents and one sold over the next 25 years leav­ing 21 in ser­vice to­day. The 212s were par­tially re­placed by 12 Bell 412EPS de­liv­ered in three batches, four in 2002, five in 2009 and three in 2010. One ad­di­tional 412EP, FAM 1213, was pur­chased in De­cem­ber 2012 to re­place 1208, which had been shot down near Cu­li­a­can on June 19, 2010. The Mex­i­can Gov­ern­ment has also pur­chased 25 Bell 212s for of­fi­cial use be­tween 1972 and 1990. Eight of th­ese were sold and four were lost in ac­ci­dents, but the sur­viv­ing 13 air­frames were trans­ferred to Ser­vi­cios Aereos Espe­ciales Mex­i­canos SA (SAESMA), eight of which are still op­er­ated by the com­pany to­day.


In 1969, the Royal Moroc­can Air Force pur­chased 48 Agusta Bell AB 205As, given the reg­is­tra­tions CN-AJA-01 to CN-AKV-48. Five of th­ese he­li­copters, CN-AJM-13 to CN-AJQ17, were ex-ital­ian Army AB 205A-1s. Re­mark­ably, 47 of th­ese air­frames are still listed as in ser­vice to­day. In the early 1980s, five Agusta Bell AB 212s were pur­chased and given the reg­is­tra­tions CN-APA-01 to CN-APE05. Th­ese too are still op­er­at­ing with the air force to­day.


In 1975 the Myan­mar Air Force re­ceived 18 Bell 205A he­li­copters from the US as part of the In­ter­na­tional Nar­cotic Con­trol Pro­gramme (INCP) to as­sist its forces in com­bat­ing drug traf­fick­ers. Th­ese were given the se­ri­als UB-6201 to 6218, 14 of which re­main in ser­vice to­day.


The Royal Nether­lands Navy pur­chased nine Agusta Bell AB 204Bs in 1961 and was to op­er­ate th­ese un­til they were re­tired in 1978. Be­tween 1994 and Jan­uary 2015, the Royal Nether­lands Air Force op­er­ated three bright yel­low Agusta Bell AB 412SPS in the search and res­cue role. Th­ese three air­frames were re­tired and were trans­ferred to the Peru­vian Navy along with the re­sup­ply ship BAP Tacna.

New Zealand

The Royal New Zealand Air Force re­ceived 16 Hueys be­gin­ning in 1966. The first five, NZ3801 to NZ3805 were built as UH-1DS and con­verted to UH-1HS prior to de­liv­ery. Th­ese were fol­lowed by 10 UH-1HS, NZ3806 to NZ3816, of which three were lost in ac­ci­dents in 1972, 1995 and 2010. The re­main­ing 13 air­frames are still in ser­vice to­day with 3 Squadron based at Hob­sonville.


The Royal Nor­we­gian Air Force pur­chased 37 UH-1BS in 1963, equip­ping 339, 719 and 720 Squadrons. In­ter­est­ingly, four of the UH-1BS, 853 to 856, were in fact UH-1CS mod­i­fied to Nor­we­gian B stan­dard and de­liv­ered in the mid-1970s. The last of th­ese he­li­copters were not to re­tire un­til 1990, a re­mark­able ser­vice his­tory. In 1986 the re­place­ment for the early Hueys was or­dered in the form of 19 Bell 412SPS. Th­ese were de­liv­ered be­tween 1987 and 1990 and re­placed the UH-1B in 339 and 720 Squadrons. The en­tire fleet has been up­graded to 412HP stan­dard, 18 of the he­li­copters re­main in ser­vice to­day and have

been de­ployed to both Kosovo and Afghanistan. Nor­way’s civil op­er­a­tors were also cus­tomers for the Bell 214B, seven be­ing flown by Luft­trans­port AS from 1981 to 1998 and two be­ing op­er­ated by Heli­trans As from 2001 through to to­day.


The Sul­tanate of Oman Air Force pur­chased 20 Agusta Bell 205As in 1971, equip­ping 3 and 14 Squadrons with the type at Salalah and Seeb air bases. Two more of the he­li­copters were pur­chased from Zim­babwe in 1978 to re­place losses and five re­main in ser­vice to­day. Be­tween 1975 and 1980, 14 Squadron also op­er­ated a pair of Bell 212s as the Royal Flight VIP trans­ports, re­placed by a pair of Agusta Bell AB 212s be­tween 1978 and 2002. The Royal Oman Po­lice also op­er­ated six of the stretched Bell 214ST trans­ports from 1983 un­til 2006. Two of the air­frames are still in stor­age in Oman.


The floods in South­ern Pak­istan in 1973 saw six UH-1HS and their crews trans­ferred from the US to serve as a re­lief flight. At the end of this op­er­a­tion, the air­craft were left at Dhamial to al­low them to take part in fur­ther re­lief flights if re­quired and the crews re­turned to the US. It was then de­cided to trans­fer the air­craft di­rectly to Pak­istan Army Avi­a­tion, and a mo­bile train­ing team was despatched from the US to train the Pak­istan pi­lots and ground crews in 1974. Ma­jor Hamid Choudhry be­came the Pak­istan in­struc­tor pi­lot on the type, be­com­ing the first CO of 6 Squadron when it was formed on June 29 and moved to Quetta. Ear­lier in May 1973, Pak­istan Army Avi­a­tion he­li­copters had taken part in counter in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions in Balochis­tan. They had been as­sisted in th­ese op­er­a­tions by he­li­copters and crews from the Im­pe­rial Ira­nian Army. In 1974, in­stead of de­tach­ing he­li­copters and crews, the Shah of Iran gifted 10 Agusta Bell AB 205As to sup­ple­ment the US UH-1HS. In Oc­to­ber 1974 Pak­istan Army pi­lots went to Iran for con­ver­sion train­ing, fer­ry­ing the AB 205As to Quetta on Novem­ber 5. Th­ese air­craft and the UH-1HS were al­most im­me­di­ately in ac­tion against in­sur­gents and were to have a long and suc­cess­ful ca­reer in Army Avi­a­tion, the re­li­a­bil­ity of the type be­ing il­lus­trated by the fact that one of the air­craft is still in ser­vice to­day. The util­ity trans­port he­li­copters of Pak­istan Army Avi­a­tion have to cope with a wide range of con­di­tions, from high altitude op­er­a­tions in the moun­tains to the north to the high tem­per­a­tures of sum­mer in the south. To deal with th­ese con­di­tions, the Bell 412EP was cho­sen and a to­tal of 26 were or­dered. Be­tween 2004 and 2005, th­ese were de­liv­ered in three batches along with train­ing sup­port and other re­sources from the US. Since then an ad­di­tional six he­li­copters have been pur­chased and 40 more are on or­der. The ma­jor­ity of the fleet op­er­ates in sup­port of the Min­istry of the In­te­rior sup­port­ing counter in­sur­gency and trans­port op­er­a­tions within the coun­try.


The sin­gle en­gined Hueys used by Panama have been cov­ered ear­lier in this is­sue. To sup­ple­ment the UH-1HS and re­place the UH-1BS in ser­vice, the Fuerza Aerea Pana­mena pur­chased four UH-1NS in 1975 se­ri­alled FAP-001 to 004. Three of th­ese were trans­ferred to the Ser­vi­cio Na­cional Aeron­aval in 1990 with the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Pana­ma­nian forces, be­com­ing 120 to 122. Two more UH-1NS were pur­chased that year, 100 and 101, the for­mer be­ing lost in an ac­ci­dent in May 2008. Four more UH-1NS were pur­chased in 2003 and 2004 and one re­mains in ser­vice to­day. The first Bell 412 was leased for testing by the Fuerza Aerea Pana­mena in 1982 as FAP-1011. Two more 412EPS were pur­chased for the Ser­vi­cio Na­cional Aeron­aval, AN-135 in 2009 and AN-137 in 2012, the for­mer re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day.


As al­ready re­lated, the Peru­vian Air Force and Navy op­er­ated the UH-1D and H, but they also op­er­ated the 214ST, the 212 and 412. The Fuerza Aerea del Peru re­ceived its first Bell 212, FAP-600, in 1973 and were to re­ceive 30 more in batches up un­til 1982. One more, FAP-685, was added in 1986 to re­place a he­li­copter that had been lost in an ac­ci­dent. Th­ese were used in the util­ity trans­port and search and res­cue roles, but could also be armed with rocket pods and guns for air sup­port op­er­a­tions, some of which are still in ser­vice to­day. In 1983, the FAP also ac­quired six Bell 214ST stretched trans­ports for trans­port and VIP use. Th­ese were ini­tially based along­side many of the 212s at Jorge Chavez Air­port with Es­cuadrón de Helicópteros 332 and are now based at Lima Cal­lao. Three of the 214STS were sold off in 2003 and 2004, one was lost in an ac­ci­dent and the re­main­ing two are be­lieved to be in stor­age. The FAP also ac­quired a pair of Bell 412EPS, one of which was lost, the other is op­er­ated by Es­cuadrón de Helicópteros 332 to­day. The Ma­rina de Guerra de Peru pur­chased six Agusta Bell AB 212ASWS, HE-470 to 475, de­liv­er­ies be­gin­ning in 1978. Th­ese are used in the an­ti­sub­ma­rine, mar­itime pa­trol, search and res­cue and trans­port roles based aboard the Navy’s frigates and de­stroy­ers.

Two re­main in ser­vice to­day up­graded with the RDR-1700B ISAR radar and a fur­ther air­frame is in stor­age. The re­sup­ply ship BAP Tacna was trans­ferred to the Peru­vian Navy from the Nether­lands in De­cem­ber 2014, along with three Bell 412SPS for­merly of the Royal Nether­lands Air Force.


The Philip­pine Air Force has been a ma­jor op­er­a­tor of the Huey since it re­ceived its first batch of six UH-1DS be­gin­ning in 1968. This was fol­lowed by six more batches of UH-1HS, 28 in 1971, 17 in 1977, 18 in 1980, 27 in 1983, eight in 1985 and 10 in 1987. Most were ex-us Army he­li­copters, some of which were re­fur­bished Model 205 and 205A-1 air­frames. The harsh op­er­at­ing con­di­tions in the heat of the moun­tain­ous is­lands with their dense jun­gles meant an ad­di­tional 10 UH-1HS were de­liv­ered in 1992 to re­place losses and a mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gramme be­gan to up­grade the fleet. In 2004 12 more mod­ernised UH-1HS were pur­chased along with an in­te­grated lo­gis­tics sup­port pack­age. At the same time, a con­tract was is­sued to re­fur­bish six Philip­pine UH-1HS in the US. Th­ese were all de­liv­ered by 2007 along with 10 ad­di­tional UH-1HS. As well as th­ese he­li­copters, 46 more UH-1HS were de­liv­ered be­tween 2000 and 2010, 20 of them via Sin­ga­pore Aerospace Tech­nolo­gies with night vi­sion gog­gle com­pat­i­ble cock­pits and other up­grades, in­clud­ing fully re­fur­bished zero timed air­frames. Sev­eral up­graded mede­vac UH-1VS were also re­ceived as part of the later batches. In De­cem­ber 2013, a con­tract was is­sued in the US to Rice Air­craft Ser­vices and Ea­gle Copter to sup­ply 21 re­fur­bished UH-1HS, all of which were de­liv­ered dur­ing 2014. Be­gin­ning in 2005, kits were de­liv­ered to the Philip­pines to up­grade two UH-1HS to Huey II stan­dard with the more stream­lined 212 nose, glass cock­pit, more pow­er­ful en­gine and mod­i­fied main and tail ro­tors. Eight more up­grades to Huey II are on or­der. The com­plex and over­lap­ping na­ture of th­ese var­i­ous ac­qui­si­tions mean that the fleet to­day con­sists of 40 UH-1HS of dif­fer­ing stan­dards and equip­ment lev­els, along with eight Bell 205As a search and res­cue air­craft with the 505th Search and Res­cue Group. The UH-1HS are used as util­ity trans­ports and in re­sponse to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, as well as in counter in­sur­gency op­er­a­tions against var­i­ous rebel groups. As well as the UH-1HS, the Philip­pine Air Force also op­er­ates the Bell 412, the first two of which, a pair of 412HPS, were re­ceived in 1994 fol­lowed by five more 412EPS in 1996. The fleet is op­er­ated by the 250th Pres­i­den­tial Air­lift Wing and five re­main in ser­vice to­day. Eight more 412EPS were or­dered from Bell in March 2014, three are to be con­fig­ured as VIP trans­ports, the other five as mil­i­tar y util­ity trans­ports.


The Pol­ish Air Force ac­quired a sin­gle Bell 412HP in 2004 coded 02. This air­craft re­mains in ser­vice.


The first Hueys to en­ter ser­vice with the Royal Saudi Air Force were 24 Agusta Bell AB 204B or­dered in 1964. Th­ese were to serve into the early 1970s, 23 were still in ser­vice in 1972 but they were to be re­placed soon af­ter with the AB 205A-1, four of which were or­dered in 1967. The first en­tered ser­vice in 1971 and all 24 de­liv­ered were to serve with 12 and 14 Squadrons at At’taif. They were used as util­ity trans­ports and search and res­cue air­craft, and at least one of the fleet was con­fig­ured as a VIP trans­port. By 1996, 20 re­mained in regular use, but they were re­tired the fol­low­ing year as they were re­placed by Agusta Bell AB 212s. Al­to­gether 34 AB 212s were de­liv­ered to the coun­try, again serv­ing with 12 and 14 Squadrons in the util­ity trans­port, search and res­cue and VIP trans­port roles. Of the orig­i­nal 212 fleet, 25 re­mained in ser­vice in 1998, but they were al­ready be­gin­ning to be re­placed by the Bell 412EP. The 412s were used in the search and res­cue role ini­tially as they had greater range and ca­pa­bil­i­ties for such mis­sions, 40 be­ing de­liv­ered by 1998. In 2001 it was de­cided to up­grade the fleet’s SAR ca­pa­bil­i­ties with the lat­est 412EP ver­sion with its all glass cock­pit, SAR tac­ti­cal nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, ad­vanced sen­sors and au­topi­lot, which al­lows an au­to­mated search pat­tern to be flown un­til a sur­vivor is lo­cated, at which time the air­craft can fly an au­to­mated ap­proach to hover to com­plete the res­cue. Six­teen of the new ver­sions were or­dered with a train­ing and sup­port pack­age, de­liv­er­ies be­gin­ning in 2002. To­day, 37 Bell 412s from both or­ders re­main in ser­vice.


Sene­gal op­er­ates a sin­gle UH-1H but lit­tle is known of its his­tory.


In 1977, 18 UH-1HS, two 205As and a sin­gle UH-1D were de­liv­ered to the Repub­lic of Sin­ga­pore Air Force to serve with 120 Squadron based at Sem­bawang, Changi and Sele­tar. To sup­ple­ment this force, six ex-us Army UH-1BS were de­liv­ered in 1980 to serve with 123 Squadron. The ear­lier type was re­tired in 1988 and the re­main­ing air­craft were sold off in 1996, but the UH-1HS were to con­tinue in ser­vice un­til 2004. Also in 1977, three new Bell 212s were also de­liv­ered to 120 Squadron equipped as search and res­cue air­craft. Th­ese were to be used un­til 1985 when all three were sold to pri­vate con­cerns in the UK.


In 1992 two Bell 412HPS, one 412SP and five 412EPS were de­liv­ered to the Slove­nian Armed Forces, all eight re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day. The Slove­nia Po­lice have also op­er­ated a sin­gle Agusta Bell AB 212 since 2000, reg­is­tered S5-HPB.


The So­mali Air Force pur­chased four Agusta Bell AB 212s in the late 1970s and used them un­til the be­gin­ning of the civil war in 1991.


The first Hueys used by the Repub­lic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF ) were 25 ex-us Army UH-1BS de­liv­ered in 1968. Th­ese were to be used in the util­ity trans­port role un­til re­tire­ment in 1994. In 1971, the ROKAF started op­er­at­ing their first twin en­gined Hueys with the de­liv­ery of three UH-1NS which were used for Pres­i­den­tial and VIP trans­port du­ties. Two more air­frames were de­liv­ered in 1977 for the same pur­pose, the he­li­copters be­ing used un­til they were re­tired in 2005. To­day, the ROKAF has three Bell 412s in ser­vice with the 233 Com­bat Search and Res­cue Squadron in the CSAR role. The Repub­lic of Korea Army was to re­ceive its first UH-1DS in 1972, fol­lowed by over 100 UH-1HS and around 20 UH-1NS dur­ing the late 1970s and 1980s. The prime use of this fleet was in util­ity trans­port sup­port to army op­er­a­tions, par­tic­u­larly troop trans­port. To­day, 91 UH-1HS re­main in ser­vice. The Repub­lic of Korea Navy also re­ceived 14 UH-1HS at the same time as the army to op­er­ate as util­ity trans­ports, seven of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. The Korean Na­tional Po­lice Agency also use two Bell 412SPS and two 412EPS, one of the SPS hav­ing been trans­ferred to the Coast Guard.


The Span­ish Air Force first ac­quired Hueys in 1966 with the pur­chase of 14 Agusta Bell AB 205As which served as train­ers and search and res­cue air­craft with 801, 802 and 803 Squadrons be­fore they were re­tired in 1991. In 1974, three UH-1HS were pur­chased for the Army Fly­ing School to act as train­ers for the AB 205As, three more be­ing pur­chased to join the SAR fleet in 1975, along with a sin­gle ex­am­ple as a VIP trans­port. The last of th­ese UH-1HS was re­tired in 1993. Be­tween 1966 and 1984, the Span­ish Army used six UH-1CS as train­ers and sup­port air­craft to the newly cre­ated Army Avi­a­tion Le­gion. The main el­e­ment of this force was 60 UH-1HS which be­gan to en­ter ser­vice in 1970, 16 of which re­main in ser­vice to­day. In 1981, six Agusta Bell AB 212s were de­liv­ered to the Army, be­ing as­signed to BHELMA VI in 1986, a unit they still equip to­day. The Span­ish Navy Pur­chased four Agusta Bell AB 204ASS as an­ti­sub­ma­rine war­fare air­craft in 1964, and were to use them with Es­cuadrilla 003 un­til they were re­tired in 1979. The AB 240ASS had be­gun to be re­placed in 1974 with the ar­rival of the first of 14 Agusta Bell AB 212ASWS. Th­ese were all to be op­er­ated by the same unit in the an­ti­sub­ma­rine role, eight of which are still in ser­vice.


The first two of 18 Bell 212s were ac­quired by the Sri Lanka Air Force in 1984 to equip 7 Squadron based at Katu­nayake. Th­ese he­li­copters were mod­i­fied to carry pin­tle mounted door guns and 2.75in rocket pods to op­er­ate in the counter in­sur­gency and as­sault roles. In 1988, the air force re­ceived its first pair of Bell 412s, four more be­ing ac­quired over the next few years. The orig­i­nal pair of 412s were sold in 2012, hav­ing been re­placed by a pair of the lat­est 412EP model de­liv­ered in 2011.


Two Bell 205As and three Agusta Bell AB 212s are re­port­edly in ser­vice with the Su­danese Air Force to­day, the 212s be­ing the sur­viv­ing air­frames from 12 ini­tially ac­quired in 1986.


The Flyg­vap­net or Swedish Air Force pur­chased seven Agusta Bell AB 204Bs in 1962, where they were known as Hkp-3bs. Five more ex-aus­trian Air Force AB 204Bs

were re­ceived in 1994, the air­craft be­ing used as util­ity trans­ports and com­mu­ni­ca­tions air­craft un­til they were re­tired in 1998. Sim­i­larly the Swedish Army used 14 AB 204Bs be­tween 1962 and 1997, three of which were trans­ferred to the Försvars­mak­ten in 1998 where they were used un­til 2001. The Swedish Army also op­er­ated the Bell 412, known as the Hkp-11, the first pair of which were leased from Agusta for a year along with a 412SP in 1993. Th­ese were fol­lowed by five 412HPS in 1994 which were used un­til 1997 then trans­ferred to the Försvars­mak­ten who used them up un­til 2004.


The Aero In­dus­try Devel­op­ment Cen­tre (AIDC) in Tai­wan built 118 UH-1HS for the Repub­lic of China Army be­tween 1969 and 1976, 91 re­main­ing in ser­vice in 2014. Aside from Army Avi­a­tion, UH-1HS are also op­er­ated by the Na­tional Fire Ad­min­is­tra­tion as aerial fire fighters.


The Tan­za­nian Peo­ple’s De­fence Force Air Wing ac­quired four Agusta Bell AB 205As in 1977, us­ing them up un­til 1998. They had been re­placed by three AB 412s, one of which was writ­ten off in an ac­ci­dent in April 2014, the other two re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day.


Dur­ing the Viet­nam War, a num­ber of UH-1AS and Bs were trans­ferred to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) as they were re­placed by later mod­els with the US Army. Just how many air­frames were in­volved and when they were trans­ferred is un­clear, but in 1968, the first of the UH-1HS ar­rived. Th­ese he­li­copters were to be long lived in Thai ser­vice, the RTAF still op­er­at­ing 18 of the type and the Royal Thai Army still hav­ing 84 in the util­ity trans­port role. In 1976, the army trans­port fleet was bol­stered with the ar­rival of the first of the Bell 212s, th­ese be­ing taken on charge in batches and dis­posed of as they aged, five be­ing trans­ferred to the Sri Lanka Air Force in 1990, the year an or­der for 25 new 212s had been placed to mod­ernise the fleet. In 2012, a re­fur­bish­ment pro­gramme be­gan with the first batch of eight 212s un­der­go­ing an up­grade and 52 of the type re­main in ser­vice to­day. The RTAF also op­er­ated a pair of 212s as part of its Royal Flight, th­ese be­ing re­placed in 1982 by two Bell 412s, then in 1991 two 412SPS and fi­nally by 412EPS in 2003. Al­to­gether the RTAF has op­er­ated 13 Bell 412s of all ver­sions, mostly as VIP trans­ports, eight re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day. The Royal Thai Navy also op­er­ates the Bell 212, fit­ted with an­ti­sub­ma­rine war­fare equip­ment and ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing from the navy’s frigates, although th­ese have be­gun to be re­placed by the 412 with five 212s and four 412s be­ing listed as in ser­vice to­day. The Royal Thai Navy was also one of the op­er­a­tors of the Bell 214ST, six be­ing pur­chased be­gin­ning in 1985 as VIP trans­ports. The Royal Thai Po­lice also op­er­ate the Bell 412 and have done since the first were de­liv­ered in 1999, with nine air­craft, two 412HPS and seven 412EPS in ser­vice to­day.


The first Hueys in ser­vice with the Tu­nisian Air Force were two UH-1HS and two UH-1NS re­ceived in 1975. Th­ese were fol­lowed by 18 Agusta Bell AB 205As in 1980, given the se­ri­als L81701 to L81718. All of the Hueys were op­er­ated by 31 and 32 Squadrons, the fleet be­ing bol­stered with fur­ther batches of air­craft so that to­day 11 UH-1HS and 20 AB 205As and Bell 205As are in ser­vice. The air

force has also be­gun to ac­quire the Bell 412, three of which are in ser­vice to­day.


The Turk­ish armed forces have one of the largest fleets of Hueys in the world to­day, the first UH-1HS be­ing de­liv­ered to the Turk­ish Air Force in 1968. The fleet ex­panded with var­i­ous batches of UH-1HS and Agusta Bell AB 205As un­til most re­cently the en­tire fleet was re­fur­bished and up­graded to a com­mon stan­dard by Turk­ish Air­craft In­dus­tries (TAI), 63 UH-1HS serv­ing as util­ity trans­ports to­day. The Turk­ish Army’s first Hueys were 18 Agusta Bell AB 204Bs which en­tered ser­vice in 1966 as util­ity trans­ports and gun­ships. The force was ex­panded with the trans­fer of 22 exUS Army UH-1BS in 1971 and 1977. The first long bod­ied Hueys for the Turk­ish Army were a pair of Agusta Bell AB 205s de­liv­ered in March 1968. In 1970 the Turk­ish Army be­gan to or­der large num­bers of UH-1HS, 58 be­ing de­liv­ered be­tween 1970 and 1974 with 15 more ar­riv­ing in 1982. A fur­ther 60 UH-1HS were as­sem­bled in Turkey in four batches of 15 be­tween 1984 and 1992. As well as th­ese, 24 AB 205As were de­liv­ered be­tween 1975 and 1978, with a fur­ther 42 be­tween 1983 and 1985. To­day, 69 205As and 86 UH-1HS form the ma­jor­ity of the Turk­ish Army he­li­copter fleet, 52 of the UH-1HS and 23 of the AB 205s hav­ing un­der­gone the TAI up­grade pro­gramme be­gin­ning in 2003. A well as the army, the Turk­ish forces also in­clude the Jan­darma, sim­i­lar to the Gen­darmerie, an armed mil­i­tary po­lice force. The Jan­darma also op­er­ates the AB 205A, 20 hav­ing been re­ceived in 1975 and four more in 1983. The Turk­ish Army also re­ceived two Agusta Bell 212s de­liv­ered in 1984 as VIP trans­ports, but in 2002 they were trans­ferred to the Turk­ish Navy. The navy also op­er­ates its own Hueys, the first be­ing three Agusta Bell AB 204AS an­ti­sub­ma­rine plat­forms de­liv­ered in 1972. The suc­cess of the first ASW Hueys meant that in 1977 the ad­vanced AB 212ASW be­gan to en­ter ser­vice, 17 be­ing sup­plied and 13 re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day.


The Ugan­dan Air Force re­ceived two Bell 212s in 1971 and three Agusta Bell AB 2105A- 1s in 1973, the lat­ter be­ing used as trans­ports un­til 1997. In 1985, three Bell 412SPS were pur­chased, fol­lowed by six AB 412 Gri­fones in 1988. Th­ese he­li­copters were used un­til 1998, af­ter which they were re­fur­bished and sold.


The United Arab Emi­rates Air Force has op­er­ated a range of Huey vari­ants, be­gin­ning with a sin­gle Bell 205A-1 and two Agusta Bell AB 205A-1s dur­ing the 1970s, along with the rare Bell 214B util­ity trans­port, four of which were pur­chased in the 1980s. In 1989, six AB 412HPS were pur­chased, fol­lowed by two 412EPS leased for two years in 2006, three of the 412HPS re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day in the search and res­cue role.


The use of the sin­gle en­gined Hueys was cov­ered ear­lier, the first twin en­gined types be­ing re­ceived by the Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya were two Bell 212s re­ceived in 1980, fol­lowed by two more in 2005. Th­ese he­li­copters have been de­ployed abroad, two tak­ing part in the UN mission to Ethiopia be­tween 2003 and 2008.


Again, the sin­gle en­gined Huey vari­ants used by Venezuela have been cov­ered ear­lier. The Fuerza Aérea Vene­zolana also op­er­ated the Bell 214ST stretched trans­port, three be­ing used be­tween 1982 and 2005. The twin en­gined vari­ants first ar­rived in 1972 with the de­liv­ery of two Bell 212s, fol­lowed by a third in 1998. Two Bell 412s were also ac­quired in 1981 and served with the air force un­til 2001, one of which is pre­served at the Lib­er­ta­dor Air­base. Two of the 212s were trans­ferred to the Navy in 2001 to be used for spares. The spares were to sup­port the Navy’s Agusta Bell AB 212ASWS, nine of which had been pur­chased in 1990 and three re­main in ser­vice to­day. In 1999 the Venezue­lan Navy pur­chased its first batch of four Bell 412EPS. Th­ese were fol­lowed by three more in 2003 and one in 2008. One was lost in an ac­ci­dent in March 2003, the other seven still fly­ing with the Navy to­day. The Aviación del Ejército Vene­zolano pur­chased two Bell 412SPS in 1988, th­ese be­ing fol­lowed by 10 412EPS be­tween 1997 and 1999, 11 of th­ese he­li­copters re­main in ser­vice to­day.


A large num­ber of UH-1DS and Hs had been sup­plied to the South Viet­namese Air Force and Army dur­ing the Viet­nam War. The closing stages of the war saw many of th­ese air­frames cap­tured by the ad­vanc­ing North Viet­namese forces. The estab­lish­ment of the Viet­nam Peo­ple’s Air Force (VPAF) af­ter the war col­lected th­ese cap­tured he­li­copters into the new or­gan­i­sa­tion and the suf­fi­ciency of in­tact air­frames and spares means that some 15 UH-1HS are still in ser­vice to­day.


The Ye­meni Air Force has re­ceived two Agusta Bell AB 204Bs and AB 205s, as well as five AB 212s and six of the heavy lift AB 214 vari­ant, two of which were con­fig­ured as VIP trans­ports. Th­ese were de­liv­ered be­tween 1969 and 1980, five of the AB 212s still be­ing listed as in ser­vice, the sta­tus of the oth­ers is dif­fi­cult to as­cer­tain. In De­cem­ber 2010 a con­tract was an­nounced by Bell to pro­vide four Huey IIS, the greatly mod­ernised and up­graded ver­sion of the UH-1H, which were de­liv­ered in 2011.


The Zam­bian Air Force first op­er­ated five Agusta Bell 205s de­liv­ered in 1969, which were fol­lowed by two AB 212s in 1972. Eight AB 205As were ac­quired in 1980 along with three AB 205A-1s, a to­tal of 14 of th­ese he­li­copters re­main­ing in ser­vice to­day.


In 1978, 11 AB 205As were pur­chased covertly for what was then the Rhode­sian Air Force, the air­craft be­ing lo­cally armed and ar­moured for the troop trans­port role with 7 and 8 Squadrons. Five of th­ese air­craft were lost, one in com­bat and four in ac­ci­dents, and a fur­ther two were trans­ferred to the Royal Air Force of Oman, the rest be­ing re­tired and sold in 1990. In 1983, the first of 12 AB 412SPS ar­rived to equip 8 Squadron. Of the 12 he­li­copters, 10 were troop and as­sault trans­ports, the re­main­ing two be­ing con­fig­ured for VIPS. Six are still in ser­vice to­day.


Three Aus­trian Air Force Agusta Bell AB 212s.

Chris Loft­ing

One of the three Agusta Bell AB 205A-1s of the Al­ba­nian Air Force.

Edi­tor’s col­lec­tion

Two of the Ar­gen­tine Army UH-1HS seen on the Falk­land Is­lands af­ter the end of the fight­ing in 1982.

Joaquín Al­varez Riera

A Bell UH-1H dur­ing the Ex­hi­bi­tion of the Ar­gen­tine Army in May 2008.


A Bell CH-146 Grif­fon util­ity trans­port of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Bosan­ska Krupa

An Air Force Brigade of Bos­nia Herze­gov­ina Bell UH-1H at Sara­jevo Air­base in June 2007.


One of the RAAF 9 Squadron UH-1HS con­verted to a gun­ship, known as Bushrangers.


A Bahrain Air Force Agusta Bell AB 212 Twin Huey in flight over the Persian Gulf dur­ing a train­ing mission in 1991.


A Fuerza Aérea Bo­li­viana Bell UH-1H in flight dur­ing the joint Bo­livia/u.s. Ex­er­cise ‘Fuerzas Unidas’ on May 1, 1987.


The search and res­cue ver­sion of the Bell CH-146 Grif­fon in the strik­ing mark­ings of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Jerry Gun­ner

A Bell 205A-1 of the Hel­lenic Air Force in search and res­cue mark­ings.


A Bell 212 of the Columbian Air Force.

Con­stance Red­grave

One of the UH-1DS built by Dornier for the Ger­man Army.


A Bell 412EP of the Chilean Air Force.


A Bell 412SP of the Ghana Air Force.

Mar­cus Fül­ber

One of the UH-1HS op­er­ated by the Ge­or­gian Air Force.


US Army sol­diers board UH-1J he­li­copters of the Ja­pan Ground Self-de­fense Force dur­ing Ex­er­cise Ori­ent Shield 2011 at Kita-fuji Train­ing Area, Ja­pan.

Hel­lenic Navy

One of the 11 Agusta Bell AB 212ASW an­ti­sub­ma­rine war­fare he­li­copters ac­quired by the Hel­lenic Navy.


Ira­nian jour­nal­ists jump from an Iran Army Avi­a­tion Bell 214A dur­ing the IranIraq War in the 1980s.

US Army

A US Army AH-64D Apache attack he­li­copter es­corts an Iraqi Army Avi­a­tion Com­mand Huey II dur­ing a joint mission.

Keith Dray­cott

One of the 22 Bell AB 412s of the Ital­ian Guardia di Fi­nanza.


One of the Le­banese Army’s UH-1HS mod­i­fied with three py­lons to carry bombs, a rare role for a Huey.


One of the three Royal Nether­lands Air Force search and res­cue Agusta Bell AB 412SPS.


A Royal Nor­we­gian Air Force Bell 412HP.

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