The US Navy has awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter for the procurement of long-lead materials and components for the manufacture of new UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters.

Under the $50.3m contract, the company will procure long lead materials for the manufacture and delivery of 18 lot 8 UH-1Y build new aircraft, eight lot 8 AH-1Z remanufactured aircraft, and two lot 8 AH-1Z new-build aircraft.

The Bell UH-1Y Venom, also called Super Huey, is a twin-engine medium-sized utility helicopter currently in low-rate production to replace the aging marine corps fleet of UH-1N twin Huey light utility helicopters.

The Bell AH-1Z Viper, also called SuperCobra, is a twin-engine attack helicopter that features a four-blade, composite main rotor system, fully integrated weapons, avionics and communications systems.

Work will be carried out in Texas and Amarillo and is expected to be complete by January 2014.