Argentina is set to acquire two refurbished Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King helicopters for logistic support at the Comandante Espora Naval Air Base. The country signed a contract with US-based Carson Helicopters last month at a cost of $12.8 million.
The procurement will complement the navy’s current fleet while increasing its operational capacity in the country’s south.
The deal includes training and spare parts for the first two years or 500 flight hours of the helicopters.
Upgraded Sea Kings
The refurbished Sikorsky SH-3H helicopters received improvements including increased performance and reliability, modern glass cockpits, modular wiring, and main rotor blades.
The upgrade has been carried out to transform the choppers for missions including rescue, firefighting, external lift, maritime search and patrol, and troop transport.
The acquisition will also provide increased safety and payload carrying capacity while reducing maintenance.
Sikorsky’s SH-3 is a twin-engine, anti-submarine helicopter that was the backbone of the US Navy for more than five decades. The aircraft can accommodate four people: a pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit, and two aircrews within the main cabin area.
Its cabin can accommodate a dipping sonar, a radar, and can be equipped with a variety of weapons that can be used against submarines, including torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
The Sea King has retractable landing gear in its stabilizing floats, giving it amphibious capability.