The US State Department has approved the sale of four helicopters and related equipment to Guyana at an estimated cost of US$256 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on Friday delivered the required certification for the Bell 412EPi and 429 Helicopters and related equipment, notifying Congress of the possible sale. The notice of a potential sale is required by US law.
A press release from the DSCA noted that “this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve security of Guyana, which is expected to grow to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in South America.”
The proposed sale of the helicopters will improve Guyana’s capability to meet current and future threats, it added.
The actual cost of the helicopters and equipment can be less depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.
The Government of Guyana in 2019 requested to buy two Bell 412EPi Light Utility Helicopters with customer-unique modifications, two Bell 429 Light Utility Helicopters with customer-unique modifications, two WESCAM MX-10 cameras, mission equipment and contractor-provided pilot and maintainer training.
Also requested were particular ground support equipment, spares, publications, integrated product support, technical assistance, transportation, Repair and Return, and other related elements of logistics and program support, according to the DSCA.
The Agency said “Guyana will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense; conduct maritime surveillance, patrol, and interdiction; counter narcotic trafficking and transnational criminal organizations; deter regional threats; and support coalition partners overseas,” adding that Guyana will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it added and further clarified that implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Guyana.
The principal contractor will be Bell Helicopter Textron Incorporated (BHTI), Piney Flats, TN. The purchaser typically requests offsets.