Helicopter. The new helicopter was unveiled during the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The MRH variant is intended for use by government and military authorities in missions such as light attack, close-air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) / airborne ISR (AISR), utility, cargo, and passenger transport.
NSA 407MRH details
In 2011, NorthStar ordered a total of 56 Bell 407GX helicopters from Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, for conversion into MRH version. NorthStar took delivery of the 48th Bell 407GX at Dubai Air Show in November 2015. The unit cost of the NSA 407MRH is estimated to be $9m. The UAE Armed Forces ordered 30 retrofitted MRH helicopters, to be delivered through 2016.
NorthStar signed an agreement with Control and Applications Emirates (CAE) to develop a training solution for the multi-role helicopter variant in February 2015.
NSA 407MRH design and features
The NSA 407MRH features lightweight, high-performance design and is equipped with all-composite, four-blade main rotor, two-blade teetering tail rotor, low skid-type landing gear, carbon fibre driveshaft cover, jettisonable outboard weapon pylon, and carbon fibre doors.
Custom Lightweight Carbon Fiber Drive Shaft Cover
Carbon Fiber Removable Doors
The fuselage has a length of 10.17m, width of 1.5m and a height of 2.68m. The main and tail rotor diameters are 10.67m and 1.65m respectively. The maximum gross weight with external load is 2,722kg and 2,268kg with internal load.
The rotorcraft is operated by a single pilot and its spacious cabin can be configured to meet different mission needs.
Cockpit and avionics
The Garmin G1000H integrated flight deck provides the operator with navigation and positioning data, flight characteristics, as well as identification and communications information.
Garmin G1000H integrated flight deck
Advanced Technology for Enhanced Safety
- The latest in glass cockpit capability for light helicopters
- Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology (HSVT™)
- Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS)
- Video input for FLIR or other camera display
- Global connectivity options
Look to the Future with HSVT
HSVT adds increased situational awareness in your rotorcraft cockpit. Using sophisticated graphics modeling, the system recreates a “virtual reality” landscape on your large 10″, 12″ or 15″ primary flight display. This enables you to clearly visualize terrain features, waterways, airport locations, runway depiction and obstacles — even in nighttime conditions.
Avoid Obstacles with HTAWS
An optional HTAWS has been engineered specifically to keep rotorcraft safely separated from hazardous terrain and minimize the chance of CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain). The system predicts in advance where potential hazards may lie and alerts you as you near them. A 5-color Terrain Proximity display lets your visualize how close you are to a potential threat while voice callouts audibly announce the helicopter’s height above terrain when descending below 500 feet. For low-level operations, the system even has a Reduced Protection (RP) mode that minimizes alerting while continuing to provide protection.
Satellite Weather and Communication
Keep a watchful eye on weather in the U.S. and Canada with built-in support for our GDL™ 69 satellite datalink, which gives you NEXRAD radar imagery, METARS, TAFS, TFRs, lightning, winds and more through a XM WX Satellite Weather subscription. The GDL 69 can also provide SiriusXM Satellite Radio in the cockpit with a subscription.
When you add a GSR™ 56, you gain global weather capabilities through the Iridium satellite network. It can also support voice, text messaging and flight tracking/position reporting virtually anywhere in the world when coupled with the right subscriptions.
Fly Advanced Avionics
At the core of G1000H, potentially high-maintenance gyro instruments have been replaced with our proven Attitude and Heading Reference System. AHRS takes inputs from GPS, magnetometer and air data computers to achieve unprecedented levels of accuracy. G1000H provides support for Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) technology, which offers high-precision GPS guidance. Source garmin.com
On the communications side, the 407MRH has military-quality dual integrated tactical ARC-210 multi-band radios, a Terrestrial Trunked radio (TETRA), and a BMS Helicoder 4 microwave video downlink system. Each pilot has a complete control system for the radios, mounted underneath their Garmin 1000H monitor. The helicopter also has an APX-121 Mode IV IFF transponder, plus an L-3 Avionics Systems 3900.2 electronic standby instrumentation system that provides backup airspeed, altitude, and attitude data in a single small display window. (The 407MRH’s tail rotor drive fairing designed by SEA has a built-in shelf for mounting three antennas.)
The 407MRH’s cockpit is night vision goggle-compatible – including the cockpit and console lighting – and is equipped with infrared navigation lights and a dual-mode IR/white light searchlight. To provide protection against hostile fire, the 407MRH has lightweight modular cockpit and cabin armor, plus carbon fiber doors and mission equipment shrouds. “The doors and shrouds were custom-built for Southeast Aerospace for this aircraft,” Rodriguez said. “The carbon fiber doors are 50 percent lighter than the original OEM versions.” Source justhelicopters.com
Standard features of the night-vision, goggle-compatible cockpit include GDU 1040H primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD), Garmin synthetic vision system, GIA 63H integrated avionics unit, GDC 74H air data computer (ADC), radar altimeter, GTX 33H Mode S transponder, GMU 44 magnetometer, dual GPS system and VHF ATC radios.
The mission management system consists of enhanced instrument panel, moving map, multiple split-screen views and integrated HD video recording unit.
Navigation and communications systems aboard the NSA 407MRH include three integrated antenna mounts, white / infrared (IR) strobe light, white/IR dual mode searchlight, IR position/formation lights, GPS antennas, UHF SATCOM provision, ARC-210 VHF/UHF antennae, UHF SATCOM provision, Tetra radio, tactical multi-band radios, and Tacan.
ARC-210 VHF/UHF radio
The AN/ARC-210 Multimode Integrated Communications System provides a jam-resistant, two-way, voice and data communication radio for the tactical aircraft environment over the frequency range of 30 to 512 MHz. It can operate in either normal, secure or jam-resistant modes via LOS or satellite communications (SATCOM) links. The ARC-210 family of equipment is made up of several variants of the receiver-transmitter, each providing a specific combination of functionality to meet user platform requirements. Source jproc.ca
A FLIR Star SAFIRE 260-HLD EO/IR (electro-optical / infrared) gyrostabilised sensor beneath the nose provides high-resolution imagery, target tracking and identification both day and night during ISR / AISR missions.
SAFIRE 260-HLD’s HD-quality visible/IR camera system
Single LRU EO/IR Imaging System
The Star SAFIRE 260-HLD is a lightweight, gyrostabilized nine inch turret that provides up to six payloads simultaneously, including diode pumped laser designation. The Star SAFIRE 260-HLD offers a solid military program heritage in airborne, naval, and land vehicle installations. Star SAFIRE 260-HLD systems are suitable for all classes of applications and are fully MIL-SPEC qualified.
Star SAFIRE 260-HLD Features
- Compact, multi-sensor system
- State-of-the-art imaging
- RSTA + laser designator
- Electron multiplication CCD
- Inertial navigation solution and LRF
- Laser illuminator/pointer
- Multi-target tracker
- Digital video interface
- Military hardened and qualified
- Up to seven SIMULTANEOUS payloads in a 10-inch package: IR, color CCD, EMCCD, laser designator, laser illuminator/pointer, LRF, optional IMU
- Continuous zoom 640 x 480 infrared camera and dual EO sensors (color and EMCCD) deliver high-resolution imagery day or night
- High power, long range capability based on proven, fielded technology; supports both US and NATO munitions coding; supports precision targeting in conjunction with advanced stabilization, beam quality and boresighting techniques
- Extreme low light capability in sub-quarter moon conditions; works in ZERO ambient light conditions in conjunction with laser illuminator
- Supports high accuracy range to target, target geo-location and Geo-Lock™ capability with optional Rate-AID
- Used as an illuminator, augments EMCCD performance in low light conditions; laser also identifies targets for observers using NV devices while remaining invisible to others
- Advanced capability that tracks targets or scenes with all imagers (IR, color, EMCCD)
- Star SAFIRE outputs SMPTE 292M digital video for all channels, maximizing resolution and range performance
- Star SAFIRE configurations delivered to multiple military programs; proven quality, reliability and performance in the most demanding military environments
NorthStar Aviation 407MRH at AUSA 2016 fitted with Star SAFIRE 380-HLDc
Star SAFIRE 380-HLDc
Long Range Targeting Performance in a Compact System
Introducing the Star SAFIRE 380-HLDc compact, high-definition, multisensor targeting system designed specifically for use on light rotorwing aircraft. The 380-HLDc provides an unmatched “SWaP-T” advantage – Size, Weight and Power plus true Targeting capabilities – in a sensor package tailored to give light attack helicopters the uncompromising Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting (ISR&T) performance required to locate, identify, and engage targets at maximum range.
Size, Weight, Power & True Targeting (SWAP-T) Advantage
- Compact & Lightweight Single LRU Design makes the 380-HLDc the only compact targeting system designed to maximize ground clearance on light airframes while still delivering the range performance to support today’s popular Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs)
- High-precision laser designator for accurate targeting at the limits of the system’s imaging performance
- High Definition multispectral imaging for broad area surveillance and long range Positive ID
- Lightweight (<70 lb) single LRU system with reduced weight brings HD Targeting to a new class of helicopters
Cutting Edge Performance for Mission Success
- Full High Definition infrared sensor captures 4x more detail than conventional systems
- Full High Definition 1080p color EO sensors enable Positive ID at increased range
- SWIR imager provides LD spot imaging and extended range performance in degraded visual conditions penetrating through smoke, haze, and pollutants
- High-magnification optics deliver maximum DRI range rivaling the performance of larger, heavier, and costlier targeting systems
- Precision Laser Designation leverages FLIR’s combat-proven and high reliability solid-state laser design expertise for precision target designation of semi-active laser (SAL) guided munitions
- Automated in-flight boresight quickly aligns laser designator to payload imaging sensors in-flight to save valuable mission time and ensure first round on target
- Advanced image processing enhances PID range and operator effectiveness by extracting critical features and scene detail in real time
- Laser Spot Tracking and Decoding lets operators detect, discriminate, and track coded lasers and illuminated targets
- Sensor and geospatial data is fully embedded in digital video eliminating need for syncing with separate data ports
- View, track, and mark ground locations using the fully-embedded navigation functionality and follow moving targets with the robust, multi-mode Autotracker
- Multiple laser payload options let aircrews point out distant targets to other forces, and determine target distance and locations
- Simplified Common Interfaces make 380-HLDc fully compatible with existing SAFIRE installations for upgrades and/or mixed fleet operations
- All-weather design is qualified to the most rigorous MIL standards and fully hardened for military operations
Weaponry onboard NSA 407MRH
As for armament: The Bell 407MRH comes with an integrated weapons management system to provide the two pilots (each of whom have redundant military cyclic control sticks) with easy targeting and firing of the onboard guns, rocket and missile systems. Targeting is handled using the SAFIRE 260-HLD’s HD-quality visible/IR camera system with its laser designator/rangefinder, and a near-IR laser illuminator that can be seen by pilots wearing night vision goggles.
The 407MRH’s four weapons systems are all tracked on a single monitor, located below the three displays on the main glass cockpit console. The helicopter’s Weapons Management System keeps the pilots updated on the remaining ammunition and rockets onboard, so that they can manage their resources accordingly. Source justhelicopters.com
CAI Integrated Weapons Management System
The advanced lightweight weapons integration platform (ALWiP) allows for mounting of a variety of weapons on removable outboard weapon stores in up to four locations, two on each side.
Advanced Lightweight Weapons Platform (ALWip®)
The weaponry include AGM 114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, M134 7.62mm mini gun, GAU-19 0.50 calibre machine gun and Hydra 70 rockets, which are carried in a seven-shot rocket pod. The M134 gun and Hellfire missiles are used for light attack missions, while the close-air support operations are supported by Hydra 70 rocket, GAU-19 and M134 guns.
AGM 114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles
Primary Function: Air-to-surface and surface-to-surface point target/anti-armor missile
Prime Contractor: Hellfire Systems, LLC – A Boeing – Lockheed Martin Joint Venture
Propulsion: ATK (now Orbital ATK) solid propellant rocket motor (IM HELLFIRE Propulsion System);
AGM-114A: ATK M120E3; AGM-114B: ATK M120E4; AGM-114L: ATK M120E4
Length: 5.33 ft (1.62 m); AGM-114L: 5.77 ft (1.76 m)
Diameter: 7 in (17.8 cm)
Wingspan: 28 in (0.71 m)
Weight: 98 to 109 lbs (44.5 to 49.4 kg); AGM-114R: 109 lbs (49.4 kg)
Range: AGM-114 K/L/M/N: 4.97 miles (8,000 m)
AGM-114R fired at 3,000 ft (914 m):
4.97 miles (8,000 m) – LOAL, high trajectory
4.41 miles (7,100 m) – LOAL, low/direct trajectory
Guidance: Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker; AGM-114L: Millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker
Warhead: AGM-114 A/C/F/K/K-2/L/P/P+: Shaped charge warhead
AGM-114F-A/K-2A/P-2A: Shaped charge warhead with frag sleeve
AGM-114M/N: Blast fragmentation warhead (AGM-114N is a thermobaric version with metal augmentation charge)
AGM-114R: Multi-purpose Integrated Blast Frag Sleeve (IBFS) warhead
M134 7.62mm mini gun
The M134D-H Hybrid Gatling Gun is the standard lightweight Minigun design from Dillon Aero. The Hybrid Gatling Gun combines the titanium and skeletonized parts that were originally engineered for use in the M134D-T titanium Gatling Gun with the steel housing of the M134D steel Gatling Gun. The Hybrid gun was designed to offer the weight savings of the titanium gun and the longer service life of the steel gun. The Hybrid system is only two pounds heavier than the original titanium gun, is between 10-20 pounds lighter than the steel system, and has a service life of 1,500,000. The M134D-H is in widespread use in both Crew Served and Fixed Forward applications.
GAU-19 0.50 calibre machine gun
GECAL-50 / GAU-19/A heavy machine gun is an externally powered weapon of Gatling type. It uses built-in electrical motor to rotate barrel cluster (which has three barrels) and operate feeder-delinker unit. Bolts are cycled through cam-shaped path inside the gun housing, continuously feeding, firing and ejecting spent cases from barrels as they rotate. Gun is fed using standard M9 disintegrating belts, same as used in Browning M2HB heavy machine gun. Since the belt links have closed loops, each cartridge is pulled out of the links by the feeder-delinker unit before presenting it to the gun for loading. Rate of fire is controlled by electronic circuit, and can be adjusted up to 2000 rounds per minute, although GAU-19/B is limited to 1300 rounds per minute due to lighter barrels. GAU-19/A machine guns can be mounted in aircraft gun pods and flexible or fixed aircraft mounts. Surface use includes ring-type mounts installed on the roof of the HMMWV vehicles and pedestal mounts used on naval ships and fast boats. Some types of mounts include integral ammunition containers (with typical capacity between 500 and 1500 rounds) and dedicated battery to operate the gun. Firing controls normally include dual spade grips, attached to the gun cradle, with electric triggers and safety switches.
|Weight, kg||63 (gun body with motor and feeder-delinker)||48 (gun body with motor and feeder-delinker)|
|Barrel length, mm||914||914|
|Rate of fire, rounds/minute||1000 – 2000||1300|
Dillon Aero Gun Pod
The Dillon Aero Gun Pod is a self-contained M134D-H weapon system that mounts to either fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft. It utilizes 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition with M13 links, with a 3,000-round magazine capacity and a rate of fire of 3,000 rounds per minute.
- Self-contained system
– Dillon M134D-H Minigun
– 3,000-round magazine capacity
– Rapidly removable nose and tail cone for easy gun or magazine access
– Conformal Remote Gun Control Unit (RGCU)
– Conformal dedicated 24 VDC Li-ion battery
– Trickle charge capable from aircraft power
– Quick Change Ammunition Magazine
– Last Round Switch (approx. 100 rounds remaining) with pilot override interrupt
– Integral bore sight adjustment +/- 2.5°
– Mounts to 14” Standard NATO bomb rack
– Optional Dillon hardback mount available to integrate the Gun Pod onto the standard Russian bomb rack used on
– Russian aircraft, Mi-24, Mi-17 etc.
– Capable of 400 kt airspeed at sea level
– 162 lb (73.5 kg) empty
– 350 lb (158.8 kg) estimated when loaded
– Height: 15.4” (39.1 cm)
– Width: 13.1” (33.3 cm)
– Length: 92.9” (236 cm) with long barrels
- Aircraft interface cabling
– Master arm
– Last round switch override
– Battery trickle charge
– Optional indicator light signals
Hydra 70 rockets
In the following, the nine main variants of the Hydra-70 rocket are presented:
The M151 HEPD is a unitary fragmenting 10-pound anti-personnel, anti-material warhead with the M423 Point Detonating Fuze. Upon detonation, the warhead fragments into thousands of small high velocity fragments. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
The M156 white phosphorus (smoke) is primarily used for target marking. The M156 has the same ballistic characteristics as the M151 warhead and is of similar construction. Filler for the M156 is 2.2 pounds of white phosphorus with a 0.12 pound bursting charge of composition B. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.65 pounds.
M229 High Explosive:
The M229 High Explosive warhead is a heavier version of the M151. The U.S. Army is currently not buying this variant. The fuzed warhead is 26″ long and weighs 17 pounds.
The M255A1 Flechette warhead consists of a nose cone assembly, a warhead case, an integral fuze, 1,179 60-grain flechettes and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary fuze (M439) is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS) Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters. At expulsion, the 1,179 60-grain, hardened-steel flechettes separate and form a disk-like mass which breaks up with each flechette assuming an independent trajectory. The flechette uses kinetic energy derived from the velocity of the rocket to produce the desired impact and penetration of the target. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 14 pounds.
M257 Illuminating Flare:
The M257 Illuminating warhead is designed to provide battlefield illumination and does not require the use of Infrared (IR) goggles. The M257 flare rocket can be launched by from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The M442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
M261 Multi-Purpose Submunition (MPSM):
The MPSM warhead (weight is 13.9 pounds) provides improved lethal effectiveness against area targets such as light armor, wheeled vehicles, materiel, and personnel. The M73 Submunitions are deployed over the target and descend almost vertically. The M261 Warhead is a cargo warhead consisting of a nose cone assembly, a case, integral fuze, nine submunitions, and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary M439 warhead fuze is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS), Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters.
M264 RP Smoke:
The M264 RP (red phosphorous) Smoke is used as a red phosphorous filled smoke rocket propelled by the Mk 66 motor and the smoke is deployed at a range set remotely from within the aircraft cockpit. The M264 warhead is used for smoke obscuration in the visible light spectrum. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 8.6 pounds.
M274 Smoke Signature (practice):
The M274 warhead is a smoke/flash signature practice warhead used for pilot/gunner training missions and consists of a cast iron warhead modified with vent holes, an aluminum nose cap with firing pin, a M423 fuze safe and arming device, and a smoke/flash cartridge. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
M278 Infrared Flare:
The M278 Infrared Flare warhead is designed for battlefield illumination for use with Infrared (IR) goggles. The flare rockets can be launched from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The 442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
Seven-shot rocket pod
The helicopter features two ammunition supply units, each with 500-round can of 0.50 calibre or 3,000-round can of 7.62mm. A weapons management unit, consisting of fire control unit, stores management unit and gun interface unit, facilitates management and control of weapons.
Power plant and performance
The Rolls-Royce M250 turboshaft engine offers fuel efficiency and high-performance in hot and high conditions. The standard and auxiliary fuel capacities are approximately 483l and 72l, respectively.
Rolls-Royce M250 turboshaft engine
The latest FADEC-equipped M250 Series IV family of M250-C30/C40/C47 engines delivers 650 to 715 shp and powers the Bell 407/430/206L and MDH MD530/600N. Source fi-powerweb.com
- Two-shaft modular design featuring a two-stage LP turbine, two-stage HP turbine, and a gearbox with 6,000rpm output.
- Compressed air is routed to the aft end of the engine for combustion, with exhaust gases exiting from the middle of the engine.
- The Series II features four to six-stage axial and single-stage centrifugal compressors with a hydro mechanical fuel control system.
- The larger Series IV family is identical in layout except for having a single-stage centrifugal rather than an axial/centrifugal compressor.
- The latest Series IV turboshafts also feature a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system.
The base version has a maximum cruise speed of 246km/h and a never-exceed speed of 260km/h, and can operate over a range of up to 620km. Its maximum flight time is four hours and the service ceiling is 5,733m.
|SPEEDS AT MAX GROSS WT|
|VNE||140 kts||259 km/h|
|Max Cruise||133 kts||246 km/h|
|Range at VLRC*||337 nm||624 km|
|Max Endurance*||4.0 hrs|
|Service Ceiling (Pressure Altitude)||18,940 ft||5,733 m|
|Hover Ceiling IGE (Optional Max GW, ISA)||13,550 ft||4,130 m|
|Hover Ceiling OGE (Optional Max GW, ISA)||11,940 ft||3,639 m|
|Standard Fuel||127.8 US gal||483.8 liters|
|Aux Fuel||19 US gal||71.9 liters|
|Cabin Floor Space||19.5 ft²||18.1 m²|
|Cabin Volume**||85 ft³||2.4 m³|
|Aft (Baggage) Compartment Volume||16 ft³||0.5 m³|
|Empty Weight (Base 407GXP Aircraft)||2,692 lbs||1,221 kg|
|Max Gross Weight (Internal, Standard)||5,000 lbs||2,268 kg|
|Max Gross Weight (Internal, Optional)||5,250 lbs||2,381 kg|
|Max Gross Weight (External Load)||6,000 lbs||2,722 kg|
|Useful Load (Internal, Standard, Base 407GXP)||2,308 lbs||1,047 kg|
|Useful Load (Internal, Optional, Base 407GXP)||2,558 lbs||1,160 kg|
|Cargo Hook Capacity||3,100 lbs||1,406 kg|
Specification Bell 407GXP bellhelicopter.com
Main material source airforce-technology.com
Images are fro public domain unless otherwise stated
Revised Dec 23, 2017