Argentina has written the United States to explore the possibility of purchasing American surplus Boeing CH-46 medium-lift helicopters, according to Argentine Air Force chief Gen. Xavier Isaac.
Isaac said he expects an Argentinian delegation to embark soon on an inspection tour of the helicopters, which are stored at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
In addition, contracts may have been signed with U.S.-based Columbia Helicopters capable of refurbishing, upgrading and modifying CH-46, according to a DefenseNews report.
Argentina’s CH-46 purchase is geared to replace two Russian-made Mi-171E helicopters, which are grounded for maintenance but cannot be sent to Russia because of its ongoing war against Ukraine, sources told the online news portal.
The intent to secure the CH-46 is just the latest in the South American nation’s moves to replace its aging platforms. In July, Argentina’s Ministry of Defense and Hindustan Aeronautics, India’s state-owned aircraft manufacturer, signed a letter of intent for the possible purchase of up to 20 3-ton light utility helicopters.