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Designed by NorthStar


Aviation of


Dubai (NorthStar), the Bell 407MRH is commercially modified from its ‘green’ state by Southeast Aerospace (Southeast or SEA) at its integration/maintenance hangars in Melbourne, Florida. (Southeast is an aircraft modification, MRO, and parts supplier based at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.)


The first two aircraft were designated as prototypes and all commercial and military modifications were completed by SEA at its facility in Melbourne. With Department of State approval the aircraft were exported as military aircraft to the UAE. On the remaining aircraft SEA incorporated all the commercial modifications in Melbourne and exported the aircraft to the UAE as commercial aircraft. The military modifications were then installed by Northstar in the UAE utilizing SEA


work instructions and


modification kits. The modifications kits contained all of the electrical and structural components required to perform these military modifications.


To date, NorthStar/SEA has supplied 30 finished 407MRHs to a foreign customer. As ordered, the Bell 407MRH’s


military mission range is diverse. It can handle Passenger Transport, Close Air Support, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), Light Assault, and Light Attack, with its four-station, under-aircraft structure that can support Hellfire missiles, a GAU 19 machine gun, an M134 minigun, and Hydra 70 Rockets (in pods).


The reason a converted commercial 407GXP can support this range of missions is due to the use of removable electronic components, passenger seats, and weapons on the versatile 407MRH platform.


“Depending what you install, the 407MRH can monitor a contested area, ferry VIPs, or shoot Hellfire missiles,” said Greg Rodriguez, Vice President of Technical Services at Southeast Aerospace in Melbourne. “Moreover, the mission profile can be changed quickly on the ground; providing a degree of flexibility that can’t be matched by a more expensive military helicopter like the Bell OH-58 Kiowa.”


Southeast Aerospace is one of several companies that have partnered


with


NorthStar Aviation to build the Bell 407MRH. Specifically, Southeast handles the engineering and integration


of civilian to military-related technological elements of the 407MRH.


Another partner in the 407MRH project is Tek Fusion Global (TFG), the 407MRH’s special mission equipment integrator. As part


of its


contribution, TFG is


providing the 407MRH’s Pathfinder mission management system (MMS). Pathfinder MMS provides the man- machine interface to the helicopter’s aircraft systems, radios, moving map and infrared imagery from the 407MRH’s FLIR Star SAFIRE 260-HLD camera turret onto a single central monitor; one of three in the 407MRH’s glass cockpit panel. Pathfinder MMS is an open architecture software suite that allows for the integration of a variety of systems and provides an affordable growth path for desired upgrades.


“FLIR developed the 260-HLD with its ~55 lb. 9-10” turret especially for use on the 407MRH,” said Kelly McDougall, President of TFG. “Before the 407MRH, all that was available with multiple sensor payloads (including Laser Designator) were larger 15” gimbals that were too heavy for our purposes.”


64


May/June 2017


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