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Monday, May 7, 2018

U.S. Donates Four Secondhand UH-1 Helicopters to Costa Rica

The United States and Costa Rica have formalized the donation of four secondhand UH-1ST helicopters to the Costa Rican Air Surveillance Agency (SVA) of the Ministry of Public Security. Costa Rica will use the aircraft to provide aerial support during maritime operations and emergency relief operations.

According to U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Sharon Day, the helicopters will be used to help " track down drug boats on the water so the Coast Guard can hunt them down – and for a significant expansion of the air service’s ability to respond to natural disasters, and provide emergency medical evacuation in Costa Rica’s most remote corners."

The donation includes the four helicopters, their refurbishment, and training for the SVA officers that will be in charge of the aircraft. The helicopters are planned to arrive in Costa Rica once the renovation phase is complete. The U.S. expects that to last up to four months per helicopter.

While the press release refers to the helicopters as UH-1ST's, the associated picture is that of a UH-1N, so it's likely that the ST is an upgraded version of N. The UH-1N was produced between 1969 and 1978 for Canada and the U.S. These were based on the UH-1H airframe but were powered by P&WC PT6T-3 Twin-Pacs produced in Canada.

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