DH - Defence Helicopter

Ecuador requests Super Seasprites

29th September 2011 - 10:50 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Ecuadorian government has requested two SH-2G Super Seasprites to boost the country's anti-submarine warfare capability.

In a statement to Congress by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Ecuador has also asked for associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for the two aircraft. The entire contract is expected to be worth around $60 million.

The refurbished machines will be modified to carry the HELRAS dipping sonar, the AAQ-22 FLIR system, and the AN/APS-143C search radar.

The DSCA said the proposed sale would: 'improve Ecuador’s capability to meet current and future anti-ship threats,' adding that the helicopters will 'perform antisubmarine warfare (ASW), antisurface warfare, search and rescue (SAR), and logistics support missions for the Ecuadorian Navy.'

The DSCA also said that the capabililty would: 'improve Ecuador’s ability to participate in the Maritime Multinational Operations with the US Navy, enhance Ecuador’s control of its territorial sea and exclusive economic zone, and will increase the Ecuadorian Navy’s SAR capabilities, further reducing Ecuador’s dependency on the United States in case of emergencies.'

The two aircraft are expected to be from a batch ordered by Australia which was later cancelled because a series of technical problems dogged their entry into service setting the programme back several years. Kaman has since been trying to sell the aircraft to other nations.

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