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JGSDF Affirms TH-480B Training Capability

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation signed a contract today for the follow on 28 aircraft contract with their Representative, Aero Facility Co. Ltd., of Japan, at the HAI convention.   This signing, which took place on Feb. 13, 2012 at the Enstrom display, follows a contract awarding the aircraft between the Japanese government and Enstrom’s Japanese representative.  The aircraft are part of an overall 30 helicopter program award for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.  Enstrom’s model TH-480B turbine helicopter was chosen in a competitive bid to be the JGSDF’s new primary training helicopter in 2010.

“This contract award affirms the fact that the TH-480B is the right choice of helicopters to train the next generation of JGSDF pilots”, said Jerry Mullins, Enstrom’s CEO and President.  “The fact that the first aircraft delivered went through extensive testing and evaluation, and the JGSDF was extremely pleased with the results, is testimony to the product and support structure that has been put into place in Japan.”

According to Enstrom’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Tracy Biegler, “The 480B is quickly becoming the turbine training helicopter of choice.  This program, to supply 28 aircraft over the next 3 years, along with the existing contract for 16 aircraft for the Royal Thai Army, provides Enstrom with a healthy production backlog.  Coupled with our in-country maintenance support, through JAMCO Corporation, and our customer support through Aero Facility, we know that the JGSDF will be provided the highest level of care and attention; further affirming their confidence in the Enstrom team.”

Enstrom’s first turbine helicopter, the TH-28, was originally developed as a training aircraft for the US Army.  Later it was developed into the commercial variant 480, and subsequently the 480B.  The TH-480B is the JGSDF designation for the Enstrom 480B light turbine helicopter.

The remaining 28 aircraft will be delivered in lots of 8, 10, and 10 throughout 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively.