Crestview Aerospace has completed the first of eight cabins at the Crestview Florida facility, beforecompleting final assembly at the Bell Amarillo Assembly Center. The helicopters are part of the 2020 US Department of Defense contract awarded to Bell for the production and delivery of eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters for the government of the Czech Republic.
Bell delivered the final UH-1Y for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) program of record in April 2018 and has continued to produce and deliver the AH-1Z as part of the H-1 production contract for 349 H-1 aircraft, consisting of 160 UH-1Y and 189 AH-1Z.
Commonality between UH-1Y and AH-1Z tactical advantage
The UH-1Y shares 85 per cent commonality of parts with the AH-1Z. The commonality between the aircraft enabled critical component supply chains to remain active during AH-1Z production for the USMC.
“Time, logistics, and man-hours are all strategic resources,” said Mike Deslatte, Vice President and H-1 Program Director at Bell. “Commonality helps ensure everything between the Viper and Venom, from manufacturing, maintenance, and upgrades, and remains seamless while simultaneously providing lower program and life cycle costs. It’s a real tactical advantage on multiple levels.”