The US State Department announced on October 30 that it has approved the possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of two Bell 412EPi and two 429 GlobalRanger light utility helicopters to Guyana.
Approval of the potential deal, worth an estimated US$256m, was announced in a media release from the US State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), after it had notified the US Congress. In the deal, the government of Guyana has requested the four helicopters with customer-unique modifications, two WESCAM MX-10 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, mission equipment, contractor-provided training, along with associated spares and support equipment.
In the media release, the DSCA said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve [the] security of Guyana, which is expected to grow and be an important force for political stability and economic progress in South America. The proposed sale of the Bell 412EPi and 429 helicopters will improve Guyana’s capability to meet current and future threats.”
According to the DSCA, the four helicopters will be used to strengthen Guyana’s homeland defence. In operational service, the rotorcraft will conduct maritime surveillance, patrol and interdiction missions, along with counter narcotic trafficking and transnational criminal organisation operations. The acquisition will also enable the country to deter regional threats and support coalition partners overseas.
Bell Helicopter Textron (BHTI) – based at Piney Flats in Tennessee – will be the principal contractor of this proposed sale. “Guyana will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” the DSCA added.