Indonesian state-owned firm PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) will start deliveries of Bell-412EPI assault helicopters to the Indonesian Armed Forces in 2020.

The assault helicopters are supplied by US company Bell Textron. PTDI performs customisation work on the aircraft, including assembling Gatling gun weapons and bullets.

While the Gatling gun will be procured from Dillon Aerospace, the bullets will be provided by PT Pindad.

PTDI has so far received two helicopters from Bell and expects to receive another five by next year, according to Indonesian media sources. The remaining two 412EPI units are in production in the US.

The company takes around six to 24 months to complete the raft process. Assembly work is followed by operational feasibility tests and training of Indonesian Army pilots and technicians.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia Aircraft Sales vice-president Ibnu Bintarto said: “Hopefully in the middle of next year it can be sent.”

The Bell-412EPI is powered by two PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney. The engine enables 15% more power at take-off for the aircraft when compared to other Bell-412 engines.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia business development and marketing vice-president Gatot Mulia Pribadi said: “This product can be used in various fields and is designed to withstand the conditions of seawater.”

The helicopter features full glass cockpit instruments and a four-axis flight control technology.

The procurement of the Bell helicopters is valued at around $178m. Indonesia has plans to have a fleet of 40 Bell-412 EPI aircraft.

Last year, the Philippines reached an agreement to acquire additional Bell 412EPI helicopters.