The Guatemalan Air Force added a new aircraft to its inventory.
A Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopter was delivered December 12, 2023, to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, as a result of a foreign military sale executed by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC).
The acquisition will enhance the Guatemalan military’s abilities to respond to national disasters and other humanitarian crises.
“This helicopter will be used for humanitarian assistance including search and rescue, delivery of relief supplies, and reconnaissance,” said Ronald McCall II, USASAC Country Program Manager for Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Belize, and Honduras. “They will be better able to support interagency efforts following floods, earthquakes, infrastructure collapses, volcano eruptions, landslides, and land and air accidents.”
Other missions the aircraft will be able to support include combatting forest fires in the Maya biosphere and other arid regions, troop insertion and extraction, overwatch during operations, and reconnaissance in areas of high incidence of drug trafficking, organized crime, and other national security areas of interest, said McCall.
According to Bell, the typical 429 boasts an eight-person capacity and has a range of 411 nautical miles with a top speed of 155 miles per hour. It can be modified to support a range of missions from medical evacuation to light attack capabilities.
McCall said additional FMS cases are being developed that will include spare parts and modifications for the Bell 429 and for the purchase of two Bell 407s, another versatile, cost-effective aircraft that has been used by the U.S. military and law enforcement.