Gov’t looking to acquire choppers for security agencies – VP Jagdeo

The government is currently engaged with world-renowned American aerospace manufacturer, Bell Flight to acquire four small helicopters that will be for the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) as well as the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said this will enhance the assets and protection capabilities of the defence force and aid the police force in the training of its ranks as it seeks to create an air wing.

Dr Jagdeo was engaging reporters on Thursday at a press conference held at the Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown.

“We’re in discussion with Bell [Flight] for the purchase of four smaller helicopters, which would assist not just the army but…Also, policing because they would be equipped with a whole range of infrared technology,” the vice president stated.

Additionally, the administration is exploring the possibility of acquiring maritime assets through a line of credit agreement with the Government of India, which will improve the country’s capability to monitor its exclusive economic zone.

An assessment is currently underway to examine whether the 412-EP helicopter that crashed in 2023 will be replaced or a smaller chopper will be purchased, the vice president disclosed.

“What they found now was part of a conversation where they said these small helicopters, they have low operating cost and they can use a lot to train more of our pilots too,” Dr Jagdeo explained.

The government is taking a proactive response towards safeguarding Guyana’s territorial sovereignty in light of recent aggressions by Venezuela on two-thirds of the country’s territory.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali stated that the budget for 2024 will focus on planned investments geared towards expanding the air wing, maritime assets, and Coast Guard capabilities.

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