US Army Delivers GlobalRanger Helicopter to Guatemalan Air Force

The Guatemalan Air Force has received a Bell 429 GlobalRanger light helicopter as part of a foreign military sale with the US Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC).

The handover is part of the Central American government’s effort to modernize its military capabilities to tackle natural disasters and related missions.

The GlobalRanger is deployable in austere environments across land and maritime domains.

In addition to casualty and medical evacuation, the system can be configured for combat, special operations, command and control, and armed reconnaissance applications.

The helicopter has a maximum speed of 148 knots (274 kilometers/170 miles per hour) and is powered by an 821-liter fuel engine for a maximum endurance of four hours.

Moreover, the seven-seater rotorcraft has advanced avionics, mission and weapons management systems, a night vision goggle-compatible cockpit, cabin equipment, and ballistic protection.

Warfighters can arm the GlobalRanger with 12.7-millimeter guns, 7.62-millimeter mini guns, Hydra and Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rockets, and Hellfire and Griffin missiles.

Multi-Mission Asset

According to the US Army, Guatemala’s new GlobalRanger will also be tasked with other operations, such as troop logistics, alleviating forest fires in the Maya biosphere and nearby regions, overwatch, and patrol over areas with high organized crime and drug trafficking activity.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, Multi-National Aviation Special Project Office, Security Assistance Management Directorate, Bell, and Security Cooperation Officers for Guatemala, pose for a photo in front of the Guatemalan Air Force's new Bell 429 helicopter Dec. 12, 2023. The helicopter was purchased through the Army's Foreign Military Sales program and will bolster the country's ability to respond to national disasters and threats to national security. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)
US Army leaders, industry representatives, and Guatemalan officials stand in front of the Guatemalan Air Force’s news Bell 429 helicopter. Photo: US Army

“This helicopter will be used for humanitarian assistance including search and rescue, delivery of relief supplies, and reconnaissance,” USASAC Country Program Manager for Guatemala Ronald McCall II stated.

“They will be better able to support interagency efforts following floods, earthquakes, infrastructure collapses, volcano eruptions, landslides and land and air accidents.”

Parts, Additional Helicopters Expected

The US Army wrote that additional foreign military sale cases are underway to supply spare parts and modifications for the GlobalRanger.

These future contracts will also include the procurement of two Bell 407 four-blade utility helicopters to complement the 429s.

In 2022, aerospace company Bell Textron delivered two Subaru-Bell 412 helicopters to the Guatemalan Air Force under a US Army Multinational Aviation Special Programs initiative.

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