Multiple Bell UH-1H-II Huey IIs have been delivered to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Force and Air Defence Brigade by the US Government.
The four helicopters (serials A2628, A-2629, A2630 and A2631) arrived at Sarajevo International Airport at 0810hrs on December 4 on board Antonov Airlines An-124-100-150 UR-82072, callsign ‘ADB3004’. The helicopters had initially been flown in to the cargo ramp at Huntsville International Airport, Alabama, on November 30, then departed on board the An-124 mid-afternoon on December 3 for the direct flight to Sarajevo.
The serial numbers follow on from that of the last of the previously acquired UH-1Hs, A-2627. They have been acquired as part of the modernisation of the BiH Armed Forces and mark the biggest investment programme since it was established in 2005. The total value of the acquisition is $38.5 million, of which Bosnia and Herzegovina contributed $4.6 million. The remainder was secured by the US Government through the US Foreign Military Financing aid programme.
In addition to the helicopters, the deal includes provision of pilot and maintenance personnel training, necessary tools and ground support equipment to ensure safe maintenance and management of the Huey IIs. The US will also provide an aviation advisor to assist with their integration into the Armed Forces. Initial spare parts to cover 300hrs per annum of operation for the first two years
The Huey IIs will be used to support the civilian population in the case of natural disasters and also for medical evacuation, fire-fighting, search and rescue and other missions. They will supplement the few UH-1H Iroquois remaining in service with 2 Helicopter Squadron at Banja Luka-Mahovljani.
A Letter of Offer and Acceptance for their acquisition had been signed with the US Government on December 13, 2019. Bosnian pilots completed their training on the type between June 6-25 this year at the Bell Training Academy in Fort Worth, Texas.