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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