The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow attack helicopters and support services to the Qatari Government.
Under the estimated $3bn FMS, Qatar has requested the sale of a total of 24 Apache helicopters, 56 T700-GE-701D engines, 27 AN/ASQ-170 modernised target acquisition and designation sights, 27 AN/AAR-11 modernised pilot night vision sensors, and two AN/APG-78 fire control radars (FCR) with radar electronics units.
The potential deal will also include 12 AN/APR-48A radar frequency interferometers, 28 AN/AAR-57(V)7 common missile warning systems, 30 AN/AVR-2B laser detecting sets, 160 integrated helmet and display sight systems-21, as well as 58 embedded global positioning systems (GPS) with inertial navigation.
IN addition, it will receive eight aircraft ground power units, 52 AN/AVS-6 night vision goggles, 60 M299A1 Hellfire missile launchers, 576 AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles, 295 FIM-92H Stinger reprogrammable micro processor (RMP) Block I missiles, and 50 Stinger air-to-air launchers.
Qatar will also receive M206 infrared countermeasure flares, M211 and M212 advanced infrared countermeasure munitions (AIRCM) flares, training devices, helmets, simulators, generators, transportation, wheeled vehicles, spare and repair parts, as well as equipment for support and training.
The Apache helicopters sale is scheduled to meet the Qatari Armed Forces' (QAF) requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions by replacing its fleet of ageing aircraft.
In addition to providing a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatari peninsula, the multi-mission attack helicopters will boost the protection of oil and gas infrastructure, which holds significant economic importance to the US and Western world.
The deal will also support integration of the two nations for training exercises, as well as contributing to the foreign policy and national security of the US. The prime contractor for the programme has not been undisclosed.
Image: A US Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter conducting operations in Iraq. Photo: courtesy of US Army, tech Sgt Andy Dunaway.