The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Guyana of Bell 412EPi and 429 Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $256 million. 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 Government of Guyana has requested to buy two (2) Bell 412EPi Light Utility Helicopters with customer-unique modifications; two (2) Bell 429 Light Utility Helicopters with customer-unique modifications; two (2) WESCAM MX-10 cameras; mission equipment; contractor-provided pilot and maintainer training; particular ground support equipment; spares; publications; integrated product support; technical assistance; transportation; Repair and Return; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $256 million.
The proposed sale of the Bell 412EPi and 429 helicopters will improve Guyana’s capability to meet current and future threats. 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. Guyana will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter of the Huey family manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212, with the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor. In 2013 Bell introduced the 412EPI which includes an electronic (Digital) engine control for a PT6T-9 engine upgrade, and a glass cockpit display system similar to the Bell model 429. Also featured is a Garmin touchscreen navigation system, and the BLR Strake and Fast Fin upgrades for improved hover performance. Over 700 Model 412s (including 260 by AgustaWestland) have been built.
The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a light, twin-engine helicopter developed by Bell Helicopter and Korea Aerospace Industries. First flight of the Bell 429 prototype took place on February 27, 2007, and the aircraft received type certification on July 1, 2009. The Bell 429 is capable of single-pilot IFR and Runway Category A operations. The Bell 429 has a four-blade rotor system with soft-in-plane flex beams. The rotor blades are composite and have swept tips for reduced noise.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractor will be Bell Helicopter Textron Incorporated (BHTI), Piney Flats, TN. The purchaser typically requests offsets. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Guyana.