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Sunday, 08.12.2013, 17:48
Government allots LVL 0.84 mln for buying helicopters for the Border Guard
The Border Guard wants to buy two "Augusta Bell 206B" helicopters and spare parts from the Finnish Border Guard, writes LETA.
At the moment, State Border Guard has three helicopters: one "Augusta Bell 206B", manufactured in 1971, and two "Augusta 109E Power" helicopters.
The Finnish Border Guard has offered the Latvian Border Guard to buy two "Augusta Bell 206B" helicopters manufactured in 1974 and 1980. The State Border Guard believes that the two helicopters could be used for ten-fifteen years in Latvia.
Although several aviation experts have said that buying such old helicopters could be risky and, possibly, disadvantageous, the Border Guard Chief, General Normunds Garbars told LETA that helicopters' life cycle was determined not by the year of manufacture but by proper maintenance and when the helicopter's main parts were replaced. The given Finnish helicopters had all the main parts replaced recently, and they could be used for a long time yet, said Garbars.
The Border Guard uses its helicopters for the surveillance of border areas, tracking, detaining and transporting persons who illegally cross the border, and other tasks. The helicopters not only significantly improve the mobility of the Border Guard but also enable the Border Guard's participation in international operations.