Argentina’s request for four Bell Helicopter 412EP utility rotorcraft has been approved by the US state department, according to a government notification.
Buenos Aires intends to use the unarmed, twin-engined type for search-and-rescue, humanitarian and disaster relief, peacekeeping and scientific operations in Antarctica, says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“The proposed sale will improve Argentina’s standardisation of operational procedures, logistics, and associated maintenance and augment its current inventory of US-origin utility helicopters,” the notice says.
The deal is worth up to $80 million – including spare parts, tools, pilot and maintenance training, and ground support equipment. If it proceeds, the 412EPs would be acquired through the US government's foreign military sales process.
According to Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database, Argentina’s US-origin rotorcraft inventory includes 10 Bell 212s and 412s and 12 MD Helicopters MD500s and one military-standard UH-1N Huey.
Powered by twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3D engines, the 412EP accommodates two crew and 13 passengers.