Bell has described its 525 Relentless has being “an ideal aircraft” for the UK New Medium Helicopter (NMH), telling Janes that it is in constant touch with UK acquisition authorities as the country defines its Puma replacement plans.
Speaking on 1 April a company representative said that Bell’s ‘super-medium’ 525 would be an ideal solution for the United Kingdom with its “superior payload and range performance”, while the company also has in its military portfolio the UH-1Y Venom and the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor it has co-developed with Boeing.
”Our teams are in constant contact with the UK acquisition authority as the United Kingdom continues to define their New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirements. Bell remains committed to providing the right solution based on those requirements and we are certain our aircraft offer the most capable and versatile performance options,” the representative said, adding that the 525 is on track to be issued its certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later this year.
The 525 designation reportedly stands for 5 blades, 2 engines, 500 n miles. Developed as a commercial platform tailored for offshore oil and gas operations, as well as for corporate, VVIP transport, and parapublic roles, the 525 can carry 16 passengers and/or 1,814 kg of payload out to 500 n miles (926 km; 575 miles) at a cruise speed of 162 kt (300 km/h; 186 mph). Other performance specifications include a service ceiling of 20,000 ft, as well as a hover ceiling of 11,200 ft (in-ground effect)/ 8,600 ft (out of ground effect). Bell recently announced that the 525 had completed flight testing.