Argentina has received four new Bell helicopter 412EP platforms that were first approved by the US State Department in late 2015.
The medium-twin helicopters were handed over to the Argentinian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Argentina: FAA) during a ceremony at Bell’s Fort Worth facility in Texas on 11 December.
The helicopters will join the two 412EPs that were received in 2013, and will be used for search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, peacekeeping support, and as part of Argentina’s scientific mission in Antarctica.
As noted in the original US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification into the sale, the four 412EP helicopters have been sold with associated support equipment and training for an estimated USD80 million.
While the DSCA notification did not list the equipment requested by Argentina, the 412EP typically carries a Star SAFIRE III electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) system. It is powered by twin Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3DF engines for improved ‘hot and high’ performance, and is fitted with night vision imaging system-compatible cockpit lighting and search lights.
Besides Argentina, military operators of the Bell 412 include Chile, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
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