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Brazil to receive surplus Sherpa airlifters from US Army

13 March 2018
With the US having retired the last of its C-23 Sherpa airlifters form the National Guard in 2014, Brazil is looking to procure four aircraft from the ‘boneyard’ in Arizona to augment its own fixed-wing transport capabilities. Source: US Army

Brazil is to receive four Shorts C-23B+ Sherpa tactical transport aircraft that are being sold by the US Army as Excess Defense Articles (EDAs).

Under the planned sale, which was announced by the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) on 13 March, the twin-turboprop airlifters will be transferred to the Brazilian Army (Exército Brasileiro: EB) from the ‘boneyard’ at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona.

As noted in the source-sought solicitation for the proposed sale, the Sherpas would first be returned to an airworthy condition and have their cockpits upgraded ahead of delivery from the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG). This upgrade will comprise several enhancements, including night-vision goggle (NVG)-compatible lighting; an auto-pilot; Terrain Avoidance Warning System (TAWS/GPWS); Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS); a civil transponder; and weather radar.

The four C-23B+ aircraft – identified as 93-1321/SH3405/AK05, 93-1334/SH3418/AK18, 93-1335/SH3419/AK19, and 94-0310/SH3424/AK24 – have each been in storage for the past three-to-four years. Brazil has requested that they be delivered no sooner than the first quarter of calendar year 2021.

As well as prepping and delivering the aircraft, the selected contractor will provide air and groundcrew training which is to be conducted prior to the aircraft being handed over to the Brazilian Army’s 4th Army Aviation Battalion located in Manaus. Once in service, Brazil has stipulated that the aircraft fly 200 hours per month, or about 67 hours per aircraft considering three aircraft are full-mission capable and one aircraft non-mission capable due to schedule or non-scheduled maintenance. A 75% mission-capable rate is desired, and in-country support for a period of five years is also requested.

The anticipated contract vehicle is firm fixed price, the US Army said, with interested parties having until 1600 h local time on 12 April to respond.

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