Subaru has introduced the new Subaru Bell 412EPX to the Southeast Asia market, with a notable appearance at the Rotorcraft Asia show.

The Subaru Bell 412EPX is the latest commercial variant of the venerable Bell 412, and incorporates new technologies developed by the Japanese company.

Subaru sees several applications for the type in the region, including offshore oilfield support, emergency medical services, search and rescue, and firefighting. A large model on the company’s stand showed the aircraft with a large belly tank for firefighting.

The 412EPX is the commercial variant of the developmental UH-X. The first prototype of this rotorcraft was delivered to the Japanese defence ministry in late February, after completing its first flight on 25 December 2018.

425eX model rotorcraft

Greg Waldron

In 2015, the UH-X won a competition for about 150 utility helicopters to replace the military’s ageing UH-1Js. Subaru was known as Fuji Heavy Industries at that time.

Only one prototype of the UH-X will be used for testing, pending delivery of production models in 2021, says a company representative at the Rotorcraft Asia show in Singapore.

The exact delivery time frame has yet to be ascertained because the contract with the government has yet to be signed.

The UH-X offers several improvements over the UH-1J it will replace. These include an improved gearbox, a higher gross weight of 12,200lb (5,533kg), and a glass cockpit with large displays.