Subaru has delivered the first prototype of its New Utility Helicopter to the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the company announced on February 28, 2019.
Subaru has developed the New Utility Helicopter from the civil Bell 412 EPX, in partnership with the US manufacturer.
Development of the new variant began in September 2015 and flight testing began in December 2018. The first prototype will now undergo a further series of flight tests by the Japan Ministry of Defence before being cleared for production.
A Subaru spokesperson said: “[The] Subaru Bell 412 EPX obtained approval of the design change of Japanese Type Certification from [the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau on January 18, 2019. Subaru will expand [the] defence business, as well as the production and sales of the Subaru Bell 412 EPX, which is for the commercial market.”