The Urugayan military received two surplus-US helicopters in late January as it looks to boost its rotary-winged capabilities.
On 29 January a second-hand Bell OH-58A1 Kiowa arrived in Uruguay to serve with the Aviacion Naval (Navy Aviation). The aircraft, serial number 71-20493 and originally built for the US Army in 1971, was procured in Canada from a civilian owner.
It will bear the Uruguayan Navy tail number 021 and it will be used mainly as a training helicopter to prepare pilots for the soon-to-arrive Agusta-Bell 412, purchased second-hand from the Italian Coast Guard. This helicopter, while old, still has a large number of flying hours until its next maintenance cycle, a key aspect for the low-budgeted naval air arm.
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