The Ecuadorian Air Force is expected to select its future rescue and medium-twin helicopter before the end of the year, an official has told Jane’s.
The service is looking to replace its Indian-built HAL Dhruv helicopters with a shortlist that includes the Airbus Helicopters H145 and the AgustaWestland AW139. The selected platform will join four AgustaWestland AW119Ke helicopters purchased earlier this year to reinforce its fleet of Bell 206 and TH-57 helicopters used by the 2211 Squadron at Guayaquil.
The plan is to order up to six helicopters, with full equipment for combat search-and-rescue operations. The force plans to use the Koalas on rescue missions close to their bases and the new helicopters for longer range sorties, including operations over mountains and the sea.
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