U.S. Grants Helicopters to El Salvador
By Dialogo October 18, 2012
The United States granted three helicopters to the Salvadoran Air Force on October 16 to strengthen authorities capabilities in combating organized crime and to support the population in the event of natural disasters, informed the Ministry of Defense.
During a ceremony at the Ilopango Air Base in San Salvador, U.S. Ambassador, Mari Carmen Aponte, granted the MD-500E aircrafts to the Salvadoran Minister of Defense General Atilio Benítez.
“The donation is valued at $9 million, including the parts and maintenance for these aircrafts,” explained the Minister of Defense in a statement.
The MD-500E aircrafts – high capacity helicopters – can reach speed of 158 miles per hour; they are capable of carrying 696 kg and have four seats aboard.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the aircrafts will be used for Air Force personnel training missions and for “supporting the population in natural disaster missions, and in the fight against crime and organized crime.”