Argentina could be set to acquire Basler BT-67 transport aircraft via a potential $143 million Foreign Military Sales deal with the US government.

The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop-powered aircraft would be provided by Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based Basler Turbo Conversions.


Source: Basler Turbo Conversions

The turboprop-powered BT-67 is evolved from veteran Douglas DC-3 airframe

The US Department of State’s approval for the possible transaction was detailed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 18 April.

In addition to its modern engines, Basler’s BT-67 product also equips the veteran Douglas DC-3 airframe with a fuselage stretch and glass-cockpit avionics.

“The end product is an essentially new aircraft with its gross take-off weight increased to 30,000lb [13,600kg] and an unbeatable combination of simplicity, reliability and operating performance,” the company says.

The number of aircraft involved has not been disclosed, but the deal would also span logistics, maintenance and programme support, and the provision of spare parts.

“The proposed sale will improve Argentina’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing additional capacity for airdrop and airlift operations to service Antarctica during the winter season,” the DSCA says. “This will reduce the burden on other airlift assets in Argentina,” it adds.

Cirium fleets data shows that the Argentine air force currently operates four Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports, along with two KC-130H tankers and a single commercial L-100 airlifter. The assets are aged between 34 and 55 years.

Details of the prospective BT-67 deal emerged just days after Buenos Aires signed a deal with Denmark to acquire 24 secondhand Lockheed F-16A/B fighters. The acquisition will enable the Argentine air force to reinstate a supersonic fighter capability lapsed since the retirement of its last Dassault Aviation Mirage IIIs and Vs in 2015.