The Argentine military reported late last week that the Secretary of Logistics, Emergencies and Cultural Management, Walter Ceballos, had announced the purchase of twenty AB206 JetRangers while visiting Italy last week. The purchase includes ten GAU-17 machine guns and five stretcher units.
During September and October of this year, nineteen of the twenty helicopters will arrive in country, while the last unit remains in Italy until all the necessary training (including “training the trainers”) has been completed.
Ceballos also visited the Leonardo factory, and said he is interested in replacing Argentine Lama helicopters with AW169s and is also looking at potential purchase of C-27J Spartan fixed wing from the manufacturer.
This deal has been a LONG time in the making. Back in December 2011, HeliHub.com reported that negotiations were under way for these ex-Carabinieri machines, which had been taken out of service and replaced by AW109N Nexus helicopters. No mention was made in the announcement about the possible payment for these helicopters. Previous reports had suggested that the helicopters would be acquired as a swap for three G222 transport aircraft which the south American country has already retired from use.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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