Sri Lanka has purchased two Bell 412 helicopters which were delivered to its storage facility in Piney Flats, Tennessee, adding to their growing fleet of aircraft.
The helicopters, bought of the US-based Bell Helicopter company have been modified for “VIP travel”. The Air Force recently purchased 14 military transport helicopters from Russia and two aircraft from China to add to it’s expanding commercial arm, Helitours.
Previously, Bell helicopters were modified with weapons and used for attack missions during the war.
Larry D Roberts, senior vice president for Bell Helicopter's Commercial Business, said in a statement,
"We've had a strong partnership with the Sri Lanka Air Force for more than 40 years."
This was acknowledged by Sri Lanka Air Force commander Air Marshall Harsha Abeywickrema, who said the aircraft was a "highly reliable and a capable product" commenting,
"We look forward to continuing that relationship in the months and years to come".
See our earlier posts:
2012 budget fosters militarisation (Nov 2011)
Sri Lankan military expands commercial arm (Oct 2011)