In the context of the upcoming visit by the USS George Washington (CVN 73) of the United States Navy in May, the Argentine Navy is working on the recovery of two Sea King helicopters, with the aim of increasing the number of units available to operate from the aircraft carrier.

To date, one of the helicopters has reportedly recently completed its overhaul, while another is undergoing maintenance. These units will be added to the two Sea King helicopters with registrations 2-H-244 and 2-H-245, which are currently in service aboard the icebreaker ARA Almirante Irizar (Q-5) as part of the 2023-2024 Antarctic Summer Campaign. Thus, by around March next year, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Naval Aviation Command (COAN) would have four units in service.

Additionally, the return to service of at least one S-2T Turbo Tracker is envisaged to be part of the Argentine Navy’s deployment of assets for the visit of the USS George Washington. It is worth noting that the recovery of this weapon system is due to the delay in the incorporation of the maritime patrol aircraft P-3C/N Orion acquired from the Kingdom of Norway.

As reported by Zona Militar, the Antisubmarine Naval Aviation Squadron (EA2S) is working on inspection and maintenance tasks with the aim of recovering Turbo Tracker 2-AS-23, to which the registered units 2-AS-21 and 2-AS-24 could be added, considering the overall condition of both units.

It is worth remembering that during the combined exercises “Gringo Gaucho” (which took place during the passage of a US Navy aircraft carrier through South Atlantic waters in 1990 (two editions), 1991, 1993, 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2010), the COAN actively participated, deploying Sea King, Alouette III, Fennec, S-2E/T Turbo Tracker, and Dassault Super Etendard systems on several occasions.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that the efforts for the recovery of assets by the COAN also include the Super Etendard/Super Etendard Modernisé (SUE/SEM). According to sources, the Ministry of Defense continues to explore various alternatives for the return to service of the system.

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