Argentine Air Force Order for Four Bell 412EPs

The Argentine Air Force’s first two Bell 412EPs during their hand-over ceremony on January 8, 2015. A further four were ordered on December 7. Argentine Ministerio de Defensa

FOUR BELL 412EP helicopters are being acquired by the Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAA – Argentine Air Force) through a new Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal.  Bell Helicopter Textron was awarded a $27,256,160 contract for procurement and delivery of these helicopters on December 7 by US Army Contracting Command.  The estimated completion date for the contract is June 20, 2018.

Currently, the FAA has two Bell 412EPs in service, which were handed over on January 8, 2015.  One of these was a new-build airframe and the other second-hand, a 1999-built helicopter acquired from the Puerto Rico Police Department.  On November 18, 2015, plans for acquisition of four more by the FAA were revealed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which said that US State Department approval had already been granted for the FMS deal to purchase them.  The estimated value of the planned contract was given as $80 million, including associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

On June 20, 2017, Bell Helicopter was awarded a $27,195,000 US Army contract for production and delivery of four Bell 412EPs, with an estimated completion date of November 30, 2017.  This was not specifically identified as an FMS deal, but was suspected at the time as being for the FAA examples.  However, as the completion date was last month and there have been no reports as yet of any deliveries to Argentina, this is now uncertain.  Also, the cost of both this and the latest deal together still does not equate to anywhere near the $80 million originally quoted by the DSCA.