16-Mar-2021 Source: HeliHub.com
On Saturday 13th March, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) received a new Bell 412EPI following a delivery flight from the Bell plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
In a ceremony at Base Camp Ayanganna, the President His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali noted that he has kept an earlier promise made to the Guyana Defence Force, to enhance its current transport fleet and security capabilities. The President led the commissioning event, and said he was “confident in the capability of the Air Corps to maintain these assets”. Additionally, he thanked the US Government for its continued support.
“We are very pleased with our strategic partner, the US, in ensuring that we have an avenue there also, to help us in acquiring these new assets, to support us. These are all the new relationships that we’re developing that are essential in building a stronger defence architecture.
We realise, and we know that our defence architecture has to be supported by the best diplomacy, and the greatest of partnership. We have to have partnerships, we have to recognise, also, that we have to have trusted partners, we have to have trusted partners – very important in our defence,” the President said.
Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn, National Security Advisor to the President, Captain Gerry Gouveia and US Ambassador to Guyana, Ms. Sarah-Ann Lynch also attended the ceremony.
Helicopter market intelligence data from Parapex Media shows that the GDF have only ever flown Bell helicopters. Their current active fleet numbers just two elderly Bell 206s, and an early production 412 acquired forty years ago in 1981. The latter helicopter was withdrawn from active use 15 months ago and is thought to require significant – and perhaps uneconomic – amounts of maintenance before it will fly again. The new delivery may thus be a replacement for that aircraft.