Japanese Fuji Heavy Industries has been chosen to develop the next generation UH-X multipurpose helicopter for the Ground Self-Defense Forces.
Fuji along with Bell helicopter Textron will be developing the base commercial helicopter. The commercial model will then be customized to meet GSDF needs in a bid to cut development costs.
The Japanese Defense Ministry plans to introduce an approximate 150 units of UH-X in 20 years starting 2021. The development project is expected to launch this year and customization work by 2017, Japan Times news daily reported Friday.
The ministry plans to invest US $106 million (¥13.3 billion) for the development and each next-generation GSDF aircraft would cost an estimated US $9 million (¥1.2 billion).