The Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino) received a further two Agusta-Bell AB 206 JetRanger utility helicopters on 9 April. Once in service in Argentina, the AB 206s will be used primarily for transportation and medical evacuation. The additional helicopters, which have serial numbers AE-312 and AE-314, bring the number that has so far been delivered to the service to four from a batch of 20 purchased in 2016 from Italy. Six more helicopters are due to be delivered this year, bringing to 10 the total to be received by the end of the year.
The Argentine Ministry of Defense has completed a purchase of 20 Agusta-Bell AB 206 JetRanger utility helicopters from its counterpart in Italy. Negotiations for the 20 used helicopters actually started in 2012, but have been repeatedly delayed because Argentina had difficulty coming up with the required funding. The deal also includes training, 10 GAU-17 machine guns and five beds for use on the helicopters. The 20th AB206 will remain in Italy, where it will be used to train instructors and mechanics.
Agusta-Bell 206 is a License-built Bell 206 JetRanger helicopters in Italy. In the Autumn of 1965 Bell signed a deal with Agusta, giving them the license to manufacture the Jet Ranger. The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- and twin-engined helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec, plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army’s Light Observation Helicopter program, it was not selected by the Army. Bell redesigned the airframe and successfully marketed the aircraft commercially as the five-place Bell 206A JetRanger. The new design was eventually selected by the Army as the OH-58 Kiowa.