The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its session on May 11, among other things, made two separate decisions significant in the context of capacity building in the defense sector, namely one on amendments and supplements to the Decision on the multi-year project for the procurement of helicopters for the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of BiH (OSBiH ), and the other on the financing of a multi-year project of training officers in the military record specialty Aviation.
As it was said to Fena news agency on that occasion in the Ministry of Defense of BiH (MOBiH), it is about two separate, but from a professional aspect, compatible projects, which will contribute to increasing the aviation capabilities of the Armed Forces of BiH.
In accordance with the first decision, the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina continue the procurement of American Bell UH-1H-II Huey II helicopters, which should be realized in the next three years.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina secured 3.6 million BAM for those additional helicopters, and the rest will be provided by the Government of the United States of America,” the relevant ministry specifies.
As they state, these are general-purpose helicopters, for which the official handover of the initial delivery of four copies to the Armed Forces of BiH took place on December 10, 2021, at the Barracks of the Armed Forces of BiH “Rajovac”.
The total value of the contract for that delivery was 38,539,378 US dollars, of which BiH participated with 4,360,000 dollars, or 7.5 million BAM, through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The remaining amount was provided by the United States Government with funds from the US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program.
“The procurement of these helicopters was contracted according to the principle of ‘total package approach’ (Total Package Approach), which for the stated amount implies a complete transfer of capabilities and ensures – the delivery of four Bell Huey II helicopters, the retraining of pilots and technicians in the training centers of Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. , delivery of spare parts and consumables for two years and 300 flight hours per year, delivery of tools and test measuring equipment for maintenance of helicopters in I and II level of maintenance, and delivery of ground equipment for servicing helicopters and delivery of technical documentation for aviation technical maintenance in I and II degree,” explained the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At the same time, they remind that several members of the Air Force and Air Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina have successfully completed adaptation training on UH-1H-II Huey II helicopters, which took place from June 6 to 25, 2021 in the United States of America, in Fort Worth in Texas.
Thus, the pilots of both helicopter squadrons of the Armed Forces of BiH, after further retraining in BiH, became operational on the new Huey II helicopter.
“The helicopter of military designation UH-1H-II Huey II is a modernized, improved and cheaper to maintain variant of the general purpose helicopter UH-1H Iroquois (also known as “Huey”), which is already in the inventory of the Air Force and Air Defense Brigade of the OSBiH” , according to the relevant ministry.
In the MoBiH, they believe that with this procurement, the Armed Forces of BiH can continue and even better perform the tasks of air transportation, medical evacuation, firefighting, search and rescue, as well as other tasks in fulfilling the main missions of the Armed Forces of BiH.
“According to what has already been defined, the United States of America is providing another 12 million dollars for the procurement of advanced flight simulators for these helicopters of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina points out.