US approves $7.01bn sale of military helicopters to Saudi Arabia and UAE


The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale of CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $3.51bn and Apache AH-64E helicopters to the UAE for $3.5bn.

Under the sale, Saudi Arabia seeks to receive 48 CH-47F Chinooks, 112 T55-GA-714A engines, 116 embedded GPS inertial (EGI) navigation systems, 58 AN / AAR-57 common missile warning systems (CMWS) and 48 M240H 7.62mm machine guns with spare parts.

Saudi Arabia also requested M134D mini-guns with support equipment and training, aircraft survivability equipment and improved data modem systems.

In addition, the country asked for infrared signature suppression system (IRSS), a fast rope insertion-extraction system (FRIES), an extended range fuel system (ERPS), a ballistic armour protection system and ground support equipment.

It will also receive airworthiness support, spares and repair parts, communications equipment, personnel training, site surveys, tool and test equipment.

The sale to the UAE includes 28 AH-64E remanufactured Apache attack helicopters, nine new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, 76 T700-GE-701D engines, 39 AN/ASQ-170 modernised target acquisition and designation sight / AN/AAR-11 modernised pilot night vision sensors, 32 remanufactured AN/APR-48B modernised – radar frequency interferometers and 46 AAR-57 CMWS.

"Saudi Arabia also requested M134D mini-guns with support equipment and training, aircraft survivability equipment and improved data modem systems."

The UAE also requested 88 EGI navigation systems, 44 manned-unmanned teaming-international (MUMTi) systems, and 15 new MUMTi system upper receivers.

It also seeks to receive training devices, helmets, simulators, generators, transportation, wheeled vehicles and organisation equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment.

The procurement will strengthen Saudi Arabia's homeland defence to deter regional threats, while the UAE will use the enhanced capability to meet current and future threats.

Boeing Military Aircraft Company and Honeywell Aerospace will serve as prime contractors for the sale to Saudi Arabia, while Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors for the UAE sale.


Image: A CH-47 Chinook in flight. Photo: courtesy of SPC Glenn Anderson.