Bell Special Missions Aircraft (SMA) is the company’s response due the need for helicopter versatility as public safety and defense requirements continue to grow. As a pioneer delivering breakthrough innovations, Bell Helicopter is no stranger to providing dynamic solutions to maximize aircraft effectiveness.
Bell’s Special Missions Aircraft (SMA) satisfies this need for versatility by taking proven para-public helicopters and integrating them with modern military systems. Bell’s line of Special Missions Aircraft combines real-world experience with next-generation technology. The result is an unparalleled solution for more missions, including air transport, search and rescue, armed reconnaissance, and more.
Bell’s multi-year plan for investment in SMA baseline capabilities starts with the Bell 407. The Bell 407 was first introduced in 1996 and is one of the most well-known Bell helicopters in Africa and the Middle East, with 124 aircraft in operation across the region. The company took the latest configuration, the Bell 407GXi, which boasts the most modern cockpit, drive system and kits, all in line with both commercial and military standards, that resulted in the Bell 407M. Beyond the 407M, Bell is looking to bring the «M» line across its commercial fleet with SMA variants of the Bell 429, Bell 412, and Bell 505 to provide more variety and cost-effective solutions for global customers.
With a Bell SMA, operators get an original equipment manufacturer solution to support the aircraft for the program’s life. Bell utilizes its globally established sustainment network and worldwide part availability to support the aircraft globally and provides the most knowledgeable experts for Bell pilot and maintenance training.
«Bell aircraft have a proven track record across all segments, making them the most trusted workhorses on the market,» said Brian Vollmer, Special Missions Aircraft program manager. «Bell Special Missions Aircraft can bridge the gap between pure commercial and military helicopter solutions by offering a platform for every mission and the support needed to sustain the aircraft.»
The Bell 407M is an active test bed, using lessons from operational aircraft with battle-proven background. The plank system for the 407M is an enhanced version of the plank system used in anti-terrorist operations for more than ten years. Bell’s multi-configurable kits will maximize flexibility between missions and only take about half an hour to install. Bell Special Missions Aircraft are available through foreign military and direct commercial sales.