The Bell 505 will be the new training helicopter for the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN), which have jointly placed an order for up to 40 of the light turbine single helicopters for deliveries through 2025. The $132.8 million deal was closed earlier this month with the ROK’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration and announced by the agency yesterday.
According to Bell, the 505s will begin deploying next year and replace aging training fleets of MD500-series helicopters at the ROKA and Bell UH-1H at the ROKN. The Republic of Korea had issued several unsuccessful tenders to replace these helicopters in recent years and had been seeking a helicopter with more modern avionics. The Bell 505 is equipped with the Garmin G1000H NXi avionics system that features traffic advisory, terrain awareness and warning system, and synthetic vision.
Bell has delivered more than 360 Model 505s worldwide since the helicopter's service entry in 2017 and in February announced the installed fleet had achieved 100,000 flight hours. The 505 is currently used to train government forces in Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Montenegro, and the UAE.