AFP
First Flight of UH-X

First Flight of UH-X December 28, 2018

The first prototype for Japan's UH-X utility helicopter program made its maiden flight. According to the Japanese Ministry of Defence, platform remained in the air for 55 minutes. The first flight took place at Subaru's Utsunomiya Facilities, an aviation complex in Tochigi District, Japan.

In a statement from the company, the helicopter will be delivered to the Ministry of Defense in March 2019 after the series of tests. Subaru establishing a new production line for the Subaru Bell 412EPX, which was developed according to the needs of Japan from the Bell 412. The platform will not only be limited to Japan, but will also take place in the international market.

Japan is planning to replace 127 UH-1J helicopters with 150 UH-Xs, which are at the end of their lifespan. In the four-year plan of the country covering the period 2019-2023, 34 UH-X will be procured. Tokyo plans to procure six UH-Xs for 2019. The budget for this plan is around US $ 99.1 million. The first platforms are expected to be operational in 2022.

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