Somalia recently purchased two Bell 412 helicopters, with three more of the same kind scheduled to arrive in the near future.
These helicopters, known for their agility and mobility, are likely to play an important part in Somalia’s guerrilla struggle.
Comprehensive training programmes for pilots, technicians, and Special Forces personnel have been implemented to guarantee that these aircraft are used effectively. The training took conducted in Turkey, presumably taking advantage of the two countries’ longstanding military ties.
Turkey has been a strong supporter of Somalia’s security forces, and it maintains a military camp in the nation where Turkish troops train Somali soldiers. It is commonly assumed that Turkey is also involved in the training of Somali pilots.
Initially, it was thought that the helicopters were purchased straight from Turkey. However, additional investigation reveals that this is doubtful, given the Turkish Coast Guard uses the Bell 412 variant exclusively for their unique tasks. Given Somalia’s historical links with Italy, it seems more likely that the helicopters originated in Italy.
Somalia obtained two ex-Italian AgustaBell AB412 helicopters earlier this year, however it is unclear whether these exact aircraft were modified for service in the Somalia Air Force. Limited photographic evidence shows two AB412/Bell 412 helicopters with a two-tone camouflage scheme, implying probable modifications designed for desert combat operations.
Initially, it was assumed that the helicopters had been acquired directly from Turkey. However, further analysis finds that this is unlikely, considering that the Turkish Coast Guard solely employs the Bell 412 version for their specific missions. Given Somalia’s historical ties to Italy, it appears that the helicopters originated in Italy.
Somalia received two ex-Italian AgustaBell AB412 helicopters earlier this year, however it is unknown if these specific aircraft were converted for duty with the Somalia Air Force. Limited photographic evidence reveals two AB412/Bell 412 helicopters with a two-tone camouflage scheme, hinting possible desert warfare upgrades.