Sunday, January 01, 2006

16 helicopters donated to the Iraqi Air Force by Jordan

Donated helicopters headed to U.S. for upgrades
Work is moving forward to upgrade 16 helicopters donated to the Iraqi Air Force by Jordan.

The work will elevate the UH-1H helicopters to Huey II configurations, which will provide a more suitable helicopter for meeting battlefield mobility requirements.

Personnel with the Coalition Air Force Transition Team of the Multi-National Security Transition Command– Iraq have been working closely with ARINC Engineering Systems on the modifications. The work will be done by U.S. Helicopter in Alabama and is expected to take eight to nine months per helicopter. Preparations for transporting the helicopters to the U.S. will take place over the next two to three months in Iraq and Jordan.

The upgrade involves stripping each helicopter down to bare metal, refurbishing and rewiring. The basic structure will also be reinforced to accept the Huey II kit, which will add more gross weight, increased power and torque. Upgraded engines in each helicopter will provide about 30 percent more power for take-offs; the Huey IIs will also be outfitted with new rotor blades and tail booms. The modifications should extend the service life of the helicopters by 20 years.

The first upgraded Huey II is expected to roll out of U.S. Helicopter in late 2006, with Iraqi Air Force pilots flying them in early 2007.
(Above and Photo courtesy of MNSTC-I and was written by Lt. Col. John Bukowinski USAF)

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