Bell Special Missions Aircraft – A platform for every mission

Bell 407M air to air April 2021 13 (1).jpg

There is a growing need for helicopter versatility as public safety and defense requirements continue to grow. As a pioneer delivering breakthrough innovations, Bell is no stranger to providing dynamic solutions to maximize aircraft effectiveness.

Bell's Special Missions Aircraft (SMA) satisfies this need for versatility by taking proven para-public helicopters and integrating them with modern military systems. Bell's line of Special Missions Aircraft combines real-world experience with next-generation technology. The result is an unparalleled solution for more missions, including air transport, search and rescue, armed reconnaissance, and more.

Bell's multi-year plan for investment in SMA baseline capabilities starts with the Bell 407. The Bell 407 was first introduced in 1996 and is one of the most well-known Bell helicopters in Africa and the Middle East, with 124 aircraft in operation across the region. The company took the latest configuration, the Bell 407GXi, which boasts the most modern cockpit, drive system and kits, all in line with both commercial and military standards, that resulted in the Bell 407M. Beyond the 407M, Bell is looking to bring the "M" line across its commercial fleet with SMA variants of the Bell 429, 412, and 505 to provide more variety and cost-effective solutions for global customers.

With a Bell SMA, operators get an original equipment manufacturer solution to support the aircraft for the program's life. Bell utilizes its globally established sustainment network and worldwide part availability to support the aircraft globally and provides the most knowledgeable experts for Bell pilot and maintenance training.

"Bell aircraft have a proven track record across all segments, making them the most trusted workhorses on the market," said Brian Vollmer, Special Missions Aircraft program manager. "Bell Special Missions Aircraft can bridge the gap between pure commercial and military helicopter solutions by offering a platform for every mission and the support needed to sustain the aircraft."

The 407M is an active test bed, using lessons from operational aircraft with battle-proven background. The plank system for the 407M is an enhanced version of the plank system used in anti-terrorist operations for more than ten years. Bell's multi-configurable kits will maximize flexibility between missions and only take about half an hour to install. Bell Special Missions Aircraft are available through foreign military and direct commercial sales.

Jay Hernandez

Military: Domestic and Foreign Military Sales
All Media Contacts

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

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