Cracking the DRUG cartels

The Gendarmería Nacional was born as a border patrol within the Argentine Army but has now evolved into an in dependent force t o fight federal crime, as Santiago Rivas reports

The helicopter fleet of the Gendarmería Nacional comprises mainly Airbus and Leonardo types. The AW169, seen at the front of this formation, is the largest helicopter of the force, bought to replace the Huey 2s that failed conversion
Images by Santiago Rivas unless stated

Despite budget cuts, the Gendarmería Nacional (GN) has seen its helicopter fleet modernised in recent years, albeit moderately, with its ageing Hughes 500 and Lamas aircraft replaced by Ecureuil rotorcraft.

Four Bell UH-1Hs were purchased to be converted into Huey 2s, but when the first two were delivered they were not accepted. Instead, they went to the Army

A single Helibras Esquilo was delivered in 1989, followed by a AS350B2 in 2003 and five AS350B3s from 2007 to 2011. One of the AS350B3s was lost on August 6, 2011, during the interception of a drug-running Cessna 206 when the light aircraft’s pilot hit the tail boom of the helicopter with his propeller.

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