The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and associated equipment to Tunisia.
Under the estimated $700m sale, Tunisia has requested 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in standard US Government (USG) configuration with designated unique equipment and government furnished equipment (GFE), 30 T700-GE-701D engines, 26 embedded global positioning / inertial navigation systems, and 24 M134 7.62mm machine guns.
The package also includes 100 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 20 M299 Hellfire missile pods, 24 M261 Hydra-70 rocket pods, 24 GAU-19 .50 cal machine guns, 15 Wescam MX-15Di or Brite Star II electro-optical infrared laser designators, six aviation mission planning systems, one aviation ground power unit, and 30 AN/AVS-9 night vision goggles.
Furthermore, Tunisia has requested 15 AAR-57 common missile warning systems, 15 AN/APR-39A(V)4s radar warning receivers, 15 AN/AVR-2B(V)1s laser warning systems, 30 MXF-4027 very high frequency / ultra high frequency radios, 15 AN/APX-117 IFF transponders, 15 very high frequency / digitally selective calling radios, 15 ARN-147 VOR/ILS, 15 AN/ARN-153 tactical air navigation systems, and 15 AN/ARC-220 radios.
The integration of a precision-guided rocket system capability has also been included to permit the launch of laser-guided variants of 2.75 rockets, 9,100 2.75 Hydra rockets, ammunition, spare and repair parts, support equipment and communication equipment, as well as other related elements of programme and logistics support.
Approved by the US State Department, the Black Hawk sale is expected to enhance Tunisia's ability to provide border patrol, rapid reaction and field expedient medical evacuation for its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism and border security operations.
Sikorsky Aircraft Company and General Electric Aircraft Company have been named as principal contractors for the FMS programme.
Image: A UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter of the US Army. Photo: courtesy of Mrs Michelle Kennedy (Drum).