Bell Helicopter has been awarded a modification contract for the purchase of lot 9 long-lead items in support of the H-1 upgrade programme for the US Marine Corps (USMC).

The contract is a modification of a previous advance acquisition contract awarded by the US Naval Air Warfare Center.

The H-1 upgrade programme is to develop the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters to replace the USMC’s aging fleets of AH-1W SuperCobras and UH-1N Twin Hueys.

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in Texas, US, and is expected to be complete in September 2012.

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