The Colombian army received a further 14 Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk helicopters on 8 January as part of a US-financed $1.3 billion armed forces upgrade.

Valued at $220 million, the helicopter package includes the construction of a hangar at Tolemaida air base, along with ancillary installations, and the supply of related equipment. In the coming year, the Colombian government expects to receive $625 million from Washington to aid the war on drugs.

Next month, Colombia receives the first of 25 Bell Huey II helicopters for the army, air force and police. By year-end, Colombia's air force will have received five Schweizer SA2-37B covert day-and-night surveillance aircraft, and finished upgrades on Embraer EMB-312s,Rockwell OV-10s, and Douglas C-47 - the latter being modernised and configured as gunships.

Source: Flight International