The Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-222 Bijea Helicopter is a series of utility and ASW Helicopters in service with the Armies of the Five Deserts and the Sultan's Navy, as well as various police forces, the Royal Kyrenaian Coastguard, private operators and various foreign armed forces, amongst them those of Markaz.
Ever since their introduction in 1976, the Bijea supplements the Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-210 Midrab Gunship, the lighter Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-201 Sab Light Helicopter and, in more recent times, the Kyrenaian Aircraft Factories KAF-140 Qatara VTOL Troop Carrier. The Bijea replaced the XYZ Utility Helicopter starting 1980.
Bijea-A and Bijea-B
The Bijea-A and Bijea-B Helicopters, A being the Transport Helicopter, B being the ASW-Helicopter, were introduced in 1976, aiming to unify the various helicopter types in service with the Armed Forces in order to reduce costs. Bijea-A could transport up to eight fully armed soldiers, while Bijea-B was a fully capable ASW-helicopter. In 2018, Bijea-A and Bijea-B were phased out.
Bijea-A Haddaf, or Striker, was a variant of the A-Model, could be modified into an assault role, armed with two Alqatat Gunsmiths 27mm Revolver Cannons, rocket pods and ATGMs. The usual Bijea-A was armed with two machine guns.
Bijea-B, in its role as ASW-Helicopter, was equipped with dipping sonars, sunobuoys and a magnetic anomaly detector, but could also carry torpedoes, Anti-Ship Missiles or depth charges.
Bijea-C and Bijea-D
In the early 2000s, the lacks of the Bijea-A and Bijea-B became apparent, and works on a replacement, Bijea-C (filling the transport role) and Bijea-D (filling the ASW-role) began.