Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971



Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Programs at Bell Helicopter, gives a wide-ranging interview to Nation Shield in which he outlines the company’s outstanding military portfolio of products, its commitment  to the Middle East and what we can expect to see at IDEX
By Sakha Pramod
What are the different types of military aircraft you offer? 
Bell Helicopter manufactures the UH-1Y utility helicopter, the AH-1Z attack helicopter, and the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor.  We are also developing the Bell V-280 Valor, a next-generation tiltrotor. 
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft. Since entering into service in 2007, the Osprey has achieved outstanding mission success in deployments in austere environments around the world. The V-22 is the most in-demand aircraft operated by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), and offers operators a full spectrum of mission capability. 
In November, a Bell Boeing team successfully demonstrated a forward-firing weapons capability from the V-22.  We are also investing in a method of transport for the F-135 power module for the F-35 joint strike fighter, and have demonstrated the feasibility of using the V-22 as an air-to-air refueling tanker for the F-35.
The H-1 Program comprises AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters. General John Amos, previous Commandant of the USMC calls the UH-1Y (Yankee) and AH-1Z (Zulu) “the most advanced attack and utility helicopters in the world.”

They extend the proven Cobra and Huey series of aircraft with fully integrated, high performance, state of the art platforms.
 Speed, range and payload are significantly increased. The helicopters share 85 percent parts commonality, resulting in reduced support requirements, training, logistics footprint and total ownership cost. 
Bell Helicopter is also developing a next-generation tiltrotor called the Bell V-280 Valor. The clean-sheet design of the Valor creates the capability to fly twice the range at double the speed of any existing helicopter. The V-280 program will build and fly an aircraft by 2017.  
Which types of these aircraft are most used or suited for the Middle East conditions and why? 
The Middle East presents a complex environment in which to operate – one that is not unlike a maritime, ocean-going environment.  The sea and sand environments can both be unforgiving and unrelenting in their extremes – heat, cold, dust, mud, rain, salt spray, etc.

The H-1 class of helicopters and the V-22 are designed to operate aboard ships, thus they benefit from several key elements rarely, if ever, seen in helicopters designed to operate from fixed shore bases: 
The key asset to the design concept of these aircraft is that they were designed to be used by a mobile force in combat – a force called upon to respond quickly, and one which will forward deploy aviation assets in close proximity to the ground units; it was a design requirement for these aircraft to be rugged and operate from any environment in which the Marine Corps would be engaged, both afloat and ashore. 
What products will you be highlighting at IDEX this time? 
Bell Helicopter will showcase the cockpit demonstrator of our AH-1Z attack helicopter.  The state-of-the-art features and multi-role capabilities of the UH-1Y and AH-1Z are ideally suited to militaries aiming to bolster combat power across the broadest set of missions – with an affordable cost of ownership. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z offer the most effective and efficient means of accomplishing an array of missions, anywhere in the world.

The AH-1Z is the world’s most advanced attack helicopter, compatible with the widest array of ordnance of any helicopter in the world.  
The Bell Helicopter booth will have models of the V-22 tiltrotor, the V-280 Valor tiltrotor, and the Bell 525 Relentless.  The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. 
How encouraging has the response at IDEX been traditionally? 
IDEX is considered by many to be one of the foremost military shows in the world; a clear regional leader. Superior facilities and ideal weather in one of the most modern, welcoming cities in the world coupled with ultra modern infrastructure and user friendly visa process draw military and commercial users globally rather than regionally.
How important has the Middle East been as a market for your military helicopters?  
The Middle East has a tremendous impact on the aviation market. A number of countries are very serious about the V-22, and this includes many countries in the Middle East. The V-22 is deployed now around the world - ship-board and in combat. It is performing missions not possible for other aircraft, and saving lives where others could not.
On the commercial side, we have orders with several regional customers, including our regional launch customer Abu Dhabi Aviation, for our new state-of-the art Bell 525 Relentless. The continual use of the Bell 412EP throughout the GCC remains strong and we will deliver the first two EMS Bell 429 aircraft into the region early this year. 
What can we expect to see from Bell Helicopter in the near future in the Middle East?
During IDEX this year, we are opening Bell Helicopter’s new regional office in the Capital Gate Building in Abu Dhabi. Our new office will host a larger regional sales team and provide superior in-person service for our customers in the region.

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