The Ecuadorian navy has expressed new interest in bolstering its helicopter fleet with a potential acquisition of two Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites previously retired by the US Navy.

The possible sale was announced on 27 September by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which is required to seek approval from Congress before selling military equipment to foreign countries.

If the deal is signed, Kaman would refurbish two SH-2Gs, with an estimated cost of $60 million. That amount includes integrating several new systems, including the L-3 Communications Helras sonar, Telephonics' APS-143C(V)3 radar and the FLIR Systems AAQ-22 forward-looking infrared sensor.

The USA wants Ecuador to use the helicopters to fight against drug smugglers with increasingly sophisticated capabilities.

The SH-2Gs would be a "highly effective system to search, track and destroy the mini-submarines used for illegal drug trafficking", the agency said.

Source: Flight International