The Peruvian Navy buys five ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite anti-submarine & anti-surface helicopters. The deal was struck on 9 October with General Dynamics Air & Space of Canada, but the machines will be refurbished and upgraded by Kaman in Bloomfield, Connecticut, USA. The American based manufacturer confirmed its involvement last week.
The RNZAF has been flying the SH-2G (NZ) choppers since 2001, with No 6 Squadron at RNZAF Base Auckland. The New Zealand squadron is upgrading to the newer SH-2G(I), enlarging the fleet from 5 to 10 helicopters to operate not only from the ANZAC Class Frigates HMNZS Te Mana and Te Kaha, but also from another two frigates, offshore patrol vessels and the multi-role ship HMNZS Canterbury.
The NZ versions will be put through a more than 40 million dollar make-over at the Kaman plant before the Fuerza de Aviación de la Marina de Guerra del Perú will receive them in 2015. The SH-2G was originally designed for the US Navy, but that service has long switched to the more capable, bigger and more expensive SH-60 Seahawk. The Seasprites had a short unlucky history with the Royal Australian Navy (which also went for the Seahawk), but the Polish Navy and the Egyptian Air Force still operate the type.
Rebuilding its military
Peru is currently rebuilding its military and semi-military aviation assets big time, acquiring ex-RNLAF Fokker 50s multi-role maritime aircraft, buying up to a dozen Alenia Aermacchi C-27J Spartan tactical airlifters from Italy, locally build 20 Korean-designed KT-1/KA-1s basic trainers, purchasing two dozen special Mil Mi-171s from Russia and getting the National Police new Airbus Helicopters EC 145s.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger